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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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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