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Thread: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    How is a parent to decide, with such conflicting studies?

    Apoorva Mandavilli
    July 30 2020

    The research does not prove that infected children are contagious, but it should influence the debate about reopening schools, some experts said.

    It has been a comforting refrain in the national conversation about reopening schools: Young children are mostly spared by the coronavirus and don’t seem to spread it to others, at least not very often.
    But on Thursday, a study introduced an unwelcome wrinkle into this smooth narrative.
    Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found.


    Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/h...-children.html
    Last edited by Julieanne; 08-11-20 at 12:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    How is a parent to decide? Some historical context may be helpful. Take the risk of measles, for example, before the vaccine. Measles very definitely was transmitted by children, but parents didn't keep their kids away from schools, nor did schools close, because of the risk of a measles outbreak. Many kids (myself included) got measles. Our mothers took care of us, took the proper precautions (no bright light or reading on a certain day or two of the sickness, etc.), and the vast majority of children recovered.

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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    It seems that this paragraph from the article states the bottom line with regard to this study (emphasis added):

    The experts all emphasized that the findings at least indicate that children can be infected. Those who harbor a lot of virus may spread it to others in their households, or to teachers and other school staff members when schools reopen.

    And this paragraph is encouraging:

    Observations from schools in several countries have suggested that, at least in places with mild outbreaks and preventive measures in place, children do not seem to spread the coronavirus to others efficiently.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 380,000 U.S. children have tested positive for COVID-19. The scary fact is in a 1-month period (July 9 - Aug. 6) almost 180,000 children tested positive. This 1-month period happens to correspond with the re-opening of schools in many jurisdictions. Since children have pretty much been kept in a bubble since since mid-March, I fear we're about to learn some scary facts about COVID-19 and children. Keep Reading:
    https://services.aap.org/en/pages/20...l-data-report/

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by Pattypans View Post
    How is a parent to decide? Some historical context may be helpful. Take the risk of measles, for example, before the vaccine. Measles very definitely was transmitted by children, but parents didn't keep their kids away from schools, nor did schools close, because of the risk of a measles outbreak. Many kids (myself included) got measles. Our mothers took care of us, took the proper precautions (no bright light or reading on a certain day or two of the sickness, etc.), and the vast majority of children recovered.
    Good point...I think the measles virus is a good analogy. Like COVID-19, the measles virus when first diagnosed in the U.S. in 1912 was highly infectious and about 3 million to 4 million children became infected every year. For the first few decades after 1912, about 6,000 children died from measles, until a vaccine was discovered in 1963. During the decades between 1912 and 1963, the population was also developing a herd immunity against the measles. So, by the late 40s, early 1950s, measles had been around long enough for "herd immunity" to develop. Children still died was instead of thousands per year, it was more like 400 to 500. So, parents, communities, schools felt safer because the virus became less viscious over the years, lessening its impact on children who grew up in the 40s and 50s. Because COVID-19 has not been around long enough for herd immunity and there's not yet a vaccine, I fear we may see a repeat of the thousands of children who died each year in the early days of the measle virus before the development of herd immunity and a vaccine.
    Keep Reading: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/history.html
    Last edited by Mr. Wizard; 08-11-20 at 11:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    "Almost 180,000 children tested positive". Thanks for finding that Mr Wiz. I read those figures in the Washington Post but couldn't post here because it was paywalled. Children may become less sick with this virus, but I feel we still don't know for certain how easily they can pass it on. If I were a teacher I would be concerned.

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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    Please don't hesitate to contact me if you want a copy of anything published by the WaPo. I have a cheap monthly subscription through Amazon prime or something, but I get it all. Happy to share with anyone!
    Last edited by Islander; 08-13-20 at 05:34 PM.
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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    Thanks, Islander.

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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    I'll try and remember that!

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    That "children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times more COVID virus than adults" and remain asymptomatic may be partially explained by the thymus gland. The thymus, located behind your sternum and between your lungs, is responsible for the development of T-cells, which kill viruses and other harmful pathogens. The thymus is largest and most active in young children, and it produces all your T-cells by puberty. After puberty, the thymus starts to slowly shrink and become replaced by fat. By age 75, the thymus is little more than fat tissue. Could this explain why the overwhelming majority of severe COVID cases and deaths have occurred in patients age 70 and older?? Read more about the thymus gland here:
    https://www.endocrineweb.com/endocri...verview-thymus

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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    That's very interesting, Mr. W.

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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    Agreed. I didn't know that. Mr. Wizard, you're full of surprisingly helpful information!
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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    Well, no-one has put that forward as a theory! Mr Wiz, your research is amazing (and I rarely use that word). ***** for you!
    Last edited by Julieanne; 08-13-20 at 09:30 PM.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Children May Carry Corona Virus At High Levels, Study Finds

    I dare not take credit for any of these theories. But, the thymus gland theory really grabs my attention. As the thymus is largest and most active between ages 6 to 13, may explain why pre-teens seem to have the most robust "immune fitness," producing an abundance of T cells that both kill the virus and help the B-cells develop antibodies. Another interesting theory gaining steam is that children have less expression and a weaker function of ACE2 receptors, which is how the virus enters the cells. Unlike adults, children have fewer ACE2 cells in their lungs. This may explain, in part, why children experience far less acute respiratory illness requiring ventilators.

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