Children who contracted the coronavirus in daycare centers and day camps have spread it to their relatives, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Between April 1 and July 10, 17 daycare centers and day camps for children had confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Salt Lake County, Utah. The researchers focused on three of these outbreaks for the study.
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The children of the three facilities ranged in age from a few months to 16 years, with an average age of about 7 years.
The study, released Friday, concluded that 12 children contracted the coronavirus at the facilities and spread it to at least 12 (26%) of the 46 relatives they came into contact with at home.
Nine of the children had mild symptoms, but three were asymptomatic, the researchers found. However, among the infected children who had no symptoms, two still managed to transmit the virus.
A mother presumed to have contracted the virus from her asymptomatic baby was hospitalized with COVID-19, the study found.
In one of the facilities, an 8-month-old baby with mild symptoms, including fever, a runny nose, and fatigue, spread the coronavirus to both parents.
Investigators determined that it was an infected adult worker who introduced the virus into the facility in two of the outbreaks.
“Staff members at two of the facilities had confirmed or probable family contact with COVID-19 and went to work while their family contact was symptomatic,” the study said. “These family contacts represented the primary cases in the respective outbreaks.”
The researchers said that while COVID-19 is less severe in children than in adults, children may play a role in the spread of the virus.
“Infected infants exposed in these three facilities had little or no symptoms,” the study said. “Two of the three asymptomatic children probably passed on SARS-CoV-2 to their parents and possibly their teachers.”
They added that having timely tests and results available, and ensuring contacts from confirmed cases are tested, regardless of whether they show symptoms, can help prevent transmission.
They also noted that the CDC guidance recommends the use of face masks, particularly among staff members, along with hand washing, frequent cleaning, and surface disinfection.
Previous research has found that children are less likely than adults to be infected with the coronavirus. They are also less likely to get seriously ill when infected.
But a recent study found that children infected with the coronavirus were found to be carriers of high levels of the germ and have different symptoms than adults, meaning they could be spreading the virus more than previously thought.
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Video: Researchers Claimed COVID Impacts Children (KUSA-TV Denver)
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