Kids with no COVID-19 symptoms more contagious than sick adults, study finds

Thursday, August 20, 2020
Kids could play large role in spread of virus, study finds
The study found that among 192 kids, 49 tested positive with significantly higher levels of the virus than adults who were hospitalized in ICUs.

Overnight, researchers released a new study looking at how children could spread COVID-19.

The findings could impact how schools plan to reopen.

This new research is concerning not just for children, but for adults as well. It shows that children who seem healthy may actually be more contagious than a sick adult who has been hospitalized.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found that among 192 children, 49 tested positive for COVID-19 with significantly higher levels of the virus than adults who were hospitalized in intensive care units.

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If you're an educator or a parent thinking of sending your child to school in-person, you'll want to press play to hear more of these tips.

The new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests children may play a serious role in the spread of the virus, leading many experts to question if sending kids back to school is safe to do.

Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of Texas Children's center for vaccine development, says the risk is a resurgence of the virus in the fall.

"All it takes is a couple of teachers to get sick or, God forbid, going to the hospital. And then that is spread throughout the school system. It'll be lights out, the whole thing falls apart. So what's happening now as you're seeing, the school districts are doing everything they can to stack the deck in the hopes that they can prevent COVID-19 transmission," Hotez said.

Scientists also discovered only half of the children who tested positive for the disease had a fever.

As schools and some activities open, many experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Health, are warning we should not rely on non-contact thermal scanners as the only way to screen for coronavirus in kids, but to also use safety measures, like keeping children six feet apart and wearing masks.

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ABC13 spoke with a top Houston health expert on the latest about COVID-19 in the city.