Officials from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a study supporting claims that children are less likely to acquire Coronavirus. As explained, children have fewer tendencies to show symptoms of the virus. However, since they do not display any Coronavirus symptoms, they are more likely to be silent carriers of the virus. Here's what you need to know:
CDC now believes children are less prone to contract Coronavirus, but it has its downsides
As said in the report of the New York Times, the US CDC recently released a study claiming that children are less prone to contracting the Coronavirus compared to adults.
"Pediatric coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases might be less severe than cases in adults and that children (persons aged <18 years) might experience different symptoms than adults," it said on the CDC website.
CDC explains that children tend to show fewer symptoms compared to adults. In the American study, researchers took information about the symptoms of 291 children. 73% of this population had a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath. Adults, unfortunately, had a higher percentage of symptoms, with 93% of adult patients aged 18 to 64 displaying the same symptoms.
Why are kids less prone to contract Coronavirus?
Several studies have explained the phenomenon behind the "kids are less prone to have Coronavirus" theory. As said on NYT, one of the leading ideas behind this is that the viral particles found in Coronavirus do not easily attach to children's bodies. The ACE2 receptor, which the virus binds to, is not prominent enough in a child's body which makes it more difficult for the virus to enter and attach.
Unfortunately, in an adult's body, these receptors are more than enough to catch the virus. Another theory is that children's immune systems do not respond as aggressively to the virus as adult immune systems do.
Do children have silent virus carrier tendencies?
Although the US CDC now confirms that children are less prone to Coronavirus, they are still not exempted from isolation. Children are could likely be silent virus carriers that are only asymptomatic to the virus.
"Persons with asymptomatic and mild disease, including children, are likely playing a role in the transmission and spread of COVID-19 in the community, social distancing and everyday preventive behaviors are recommended for persons of all ages to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health care system from being overloaded, and protect older adults and persons of any age with serious underlying medical conditions," said the CDC.
The study even supported this claim saying that out of the 150,000 confirmed cases in the US between February 12 and April 2, over 2,500 patients are under 18 years old.
"We would expect more hospitalization based on the number of kids that might get infected, and we're not seeing that at all. And we still don't know why," said Dr. Srinivas Murthy, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, who was not involved in the study.