Kids can test positive for COVID-19 and antibodies simultaneously, study suggests

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A new study found some children can have COVID-19 and antibodies in their system at the same time.

It's important information as a number of districts head back for in-person learning.

The study revealed some kids showed signs of COVID-19 in their systems weeks, sometimes even months, after first testing positive. Not only that, but there was an overlap in antibodies, which typically indicate a prior infection.

According to health experts, the study reinforces the importance of social distancing, even if a child tests positive for antibodies.

Kelsey-Seybold pediatrician Dr. Jessica Lanerie said we often correlate antibodies with protection from a virus, but she says doctors are still trying to figure out what level of antibodies are needed to protect a person and for how long they will be protected.

"I think the biggest takeaway for parents is that if your child has any sort of symptoms, even if it's mild cold symptoms, to keep them at home, even if there is no fever present. If they have a runny nose, cough, even if it's super mild, the best thing to do is keep them at home and consult with their pediatrician before sending them back to school," Dr. Lanerie said.

Dr. Lanerie says one good thing for parents to remember is that, according to the CDC, even though a child may test positive for COVID-19 a long time after first testing positive, they may not be contagious after 10 days.

The study also found that females from 9 to 15 years old typically tested positive longer than other kids with COVID-19.

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