Children immune to Covid? Among the little ones there are few serious cases, but many positive ones, because children are not immune!
Are children immune to Covid? Are they infected less? The monitoring of the AIE (Italian Association of Epidemiology) updated on 7 February keeps the alert on the lower age groups, those so far relatively spared from the epidemic. But where a more contagious strain such as the English variant could creep in. The incidence value for younger children (0-2 years) is stable, while the increase recorded in recent weeks is clearly attributable to children between 3 and 5 years (rate 119 per 100 thousand). The rate is also increasing for 11-13 year olds (137 per 100 thousand). Also noteworthy is the increase observed in the 6-10 age group which has the highest incidence in at least three regions, Umbria, Lazio and Campania.
The 0-2 age group remains the least affected by the epidemic. But all the other classes, up to the age of 18, are growing.
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Children immune to Covid: what we know
According to research published in June 2020 in Nature Medicine, children and young people under the age of 20, in addition to being very often asymptomatic, are estimated to have about half a susceptibility to infection compared to those over 20 . The research developed Covid-19 transmission models based on data from 6 countries, including Italy. Even the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) in the Iss-Covid Report “Interim indications for pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and care of the very young of 0-2 years in response to the COVID-19 emergency” highlights that “in children SARS-Cov-2 infection manifests itself with clinical pictures much less severe than in adults. In fact, children generally have a good prognosis and lethality is decidedly lower than in adults “. The “Gender Medicine and Covid-19” study – drawn up by the representatives of the IRCCS Gender Medicine table – COVID-19 coordinated by the Ministry of Health – shows that in Italy only about 1% of positive cases have turned 18. Asymptomatology is difficult to diagnose in children, also due to the absence of capillary investigations.
The scientific evidence available, clarifies the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), indicates that in pediatric patients the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 manifests itself with a more favorable clinical course than the adult. Children are no more susceptible to these new variants than adults, and closing schools on the basis of incomplete information could have repercussions.
Infection rates in children: the English variant
Children appear to be less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 than adults, possibly due to inherent biological differences, says Calum Semple, an epidemic specialist at the University of Liverpool, UK. And studies in schools in several countries last year suggested that campuses weren’t hot spots for broadcast, as long as they took precautions like maintaining hygiene and social distancing. But if the new variant is increasing infection rates in children, then the dynamics of transmission in schools should be revised, Bennett says. The main problem is that countries often only test people with symptoms, while children are, for the most part, asymptomatic.
In fact, for the English variant there is talk of an increase in contagiousness of about 37%, which suggests that it may become the prevalent form
Where the contagion takes place
The first place where Covid is transmitted is within the family, the most important cause of positivity among children of pre-school, primary and lower secondary school age. Outbreaks of infections in schools are few and are mainly associated with students over the age of 15; moreover, cases of transmission between children of school age (3-12 years) have almost never been recorded, but more frequently transmissions from adults to children and vice versa. The potential for transmission increases with increasing age. In schools, the most frequently infected are the staff. However, it should be taken into account that most children are asymptomatic, they can infect adults, but this does not make them immune to Covid.
Fotni article: pediatrics, Health Gov, Epidemiology, National Institute of Health