HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/BELGIUM-SCHOOLS
(Photo : REUTERS/Johanna Geron) Schoolchildren and a teacher wear protective face masks at a francophone primary school during its reopening as Belgian children head back to their schools with new rules and social distancing in place during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brussels, Belgium, May 18, 2020.

Children are at low risk of catching or transmitting coronavirus to adults, and the elderly, a systematic review of over 47 studies has concluded.

HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/BELGIUM-SCHOOLS
(Photo : REUTERS/Johanna Geron)
Schoolchildren and a teacher wear protective face masks at a francophone primary school during its reopening as Belgian children head back to their schools with new rules and social distancing in place during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brussels, Belgium, May 18, 2020.

According to scientists involved in the review at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karplinska Institute in Sweden, reopening schools is thus "unlikely" to spread the killer bug.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 Update: Coronavirus May Be Transmitted By Children, New Study Shows; Kawasaki Disease May Be Linked to COVID-19

Children do not get very sick from coronavirus

The study lead author, Professor Jonas Ludvigsson, said the vast majority of children do not get very sick from COVID-19, and deaths are infrequent. 

"So there's really no reason to close down schools and kindergartens to protect the children themselves," he told Mirror.co.uk.

However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that children "can also transfer this virus to those who may be at greater risk." And other reports indicate that children tend to demonstrate similar transmitting capabilities as adults, prompting experts to warn against trusting children not to transmit the disease.

"What we don't know yet is the degree to which children can transmit the virus," Dr. Danielle Zerr, an infectious disease expert at Seattle Children's Hospital, told The Vox.

As plans have been plunged into chaos to reopen schools in Britain, a government minister admits that primaries may not all be open as initially planned on June 1. A mass revolt from unions and councils hurled those plans into doubt.

England's schools were told to plan to put back the reception as well as the year 1 and 6 students to college, with other primary years going back later in the month. 

Liverpool, Hartlepool, Birmingham, and even Tory-run Solihull and Essex warned that it might not be possible to set the start date. 

Some seek to open their doors later, while others suggest that returns may be part-time-despite the government saying that this is not an option.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 UPDATE: CT Scans Reveal Half of Hospitalized Children with Coronavirus Have Inflamed and Fluid-Filled Lungs

No local transmission from school

Professor Ludvigsson, whose research was published in the Acta Paediatrica journal, said there had been no recorded cases of Sweden's pupils or teaching staff contracting the virus in school.

For the duration of the crisis, the schools of the Scandanavian country have all been open as usual - with Prof Ludvigsson adding that it's a 'million' kids every day.

The professor warned that the United Kingdom must focus on protecting the most vulnerable-" and they are the elderly and middle-aged with risk factors.

"This tells us there is real-world evidence that children are not very contagious," he added.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said that schools will reopen "as soon as it is safe to do so," although it noted that there is "not yet a united opinion" as to whether children can transmit coronavirus.

The tentative evidence for the argument that children do not transmit the coronavirus at high levels has contributed to optimism about children and transmission from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).

"Data from population-based and cross-sectional studies indicate that children are unlikely to be primary source cases," the website wrote.

However, ECDC spokesperson Alexandru Niculae told the Vox that these and other studies "cannot be regarded as "enough evidence." She explained the data is still regarded to be limited. Hence, the general public needs to take this for the time being with a pinch of salt."

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.