Schoolchildren at “incredibly low risk” of catching and spreading coronavirus, major study finds – The Sun

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CHILDREN run an “incredibly low risk” of catching and spreading the coronavirus, a major study found.

Researchers say opening schools and kindergartens is unlikely to have an impact on Covid-19 death rates among the elderly.

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    Schoolchildren run
Schoolchildren run “incredibly low risk of catching and spreading coronavirus”, experts say – photo of children at school in FranceCredit: AFP or licensors

The team of scientists from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institute near Stockholm, Sweden, said that children are not the “main drivers of the pandemic.”

They carried out a systematic review of more than 47 separate studies which showed that children are at low risk of catching, spreading and suffering from severe symptoms of the virus.

Children are also unlikely to infect their families or teachers, the researchers said.

New study, published in the journal Acta Paediatrica, said no cases of children or teachers caught Covid-19 at school in Sweden – where schools remained open throughout the pandemic .

Children are not primary drivers of the Covid-19 pandemic

Professor Jonas LudvigssonKarolinska Institute

Professor Jonas Ludvigsson, who led the review, concluded that the opening of schools is unlikely to have an impact on death rates for the elderly.

He said, “This review suggests that children are not the main drivers of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Children have mainly social contact with their peers and parents, rather than with the elderly who are at risk of serious illness.

“It is very likely that children can spread the disease, but studies show that children rarely trigger the spread of the infection in a household. “

School is over

This comes after authorities have asked schools to prepare for reception, the first and sixth years to return from early June – if it is still possible to do so.

But thousands of schools could defy the plans because at least 23 boards have expressed concern about the government’s plans.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Professor Ludvigsson said: “The UK has been hit hard by Covid-19. But the main problem is to protect those who can die – and it is the elderly and middle-aged with risk factors such as severe obesity and diabetes.

“In Sweden, one million children go to school every day and there has been no epidemic among children or teachers.

“This tells us that there is real evidence that children are not very contagious. “

In Sweden, one million children go to school every day and there has been no epidemic among children or teachers

Professor Jonas LudvigssonKarolinska Institute

A previous review by Professor Ludvigsson on Covid-19 in children revealed that they tend to have milder or no respiratory symptoms.

He said it likely lowers the risk of viral transmission.

Among the studies included in the review, there was one in China that examined 66 familial clusters of the disease.

He concluded that there was not a single example of a child being the first to be infected – known as the “index case”.

Children can still get a coronavirus, but they seem to have very few or no symptoms.

There are rare cases of children with severe Covid-19 and there have been a number of deaths worldwide – but most have underlying health conditions, experts say.

But the suggestion is that the risk to children remains extremely low.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, statistician at the University of Cambridge, told BBC Radio 4: “Out of the seven million young people aged five to 14 in England and Wales, the number of certificates so far deaths that have been revealed is a death with Covid marked on it.

“There will be more, there will be reports of coroners coming. But it’s still an incredibly low risk. “

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He added that teachers do not seem to be at greater risk than many other professions.

Professor Maria Van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization said: “Children are sensitive and can also transmit, but seem to be infected by their parents from adults in their household.

“As the authorities plan to reopen schools, they need to examine the intensity of the transmission, can they be opened with a safe physical distance. “

Supported by documents

He intervenes when a medical union said it no longer opposed the schools’ reopening on June 1.

The British Medical Association has said that the evidence shows that the risk to children is “extremely low”, but schools should only reopen if it is “safe”.

Doctors said last week that it was too risky for children to return to school, despite the fact that the country’s largest primary school chains support the government’s plans.

In an apparent easing of its position, the British Medical Association (BMA) admitted that there was “growing evidence that the risk to individual children of Covid-19 is extremely low. “

However, he warned that there was still no consensus on how easily children could spread the disease to vulnerable adults.

Writing for The Telegraph, Dr. Peter English, chair of the BMA’s public health medicine committee, said, “The BMA wants schools to reopen as soon as it’s safe and the evidence allows – it could be before June 1 or after.

“A zero risk approach is not possible. This is “safe” being an acceptable level of risk. “

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland doubts June 1 school start date



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