New research conducted in India found that children may play a bigger role than previously thought in spreading COVID-19 based on data gathered from contact-tracing efforts. The study , published Wednesday in Science, examined exposure to roughly 85,000 confirmed cases in two Indian states, where confirmed coronavirus cases skew younger than in the U.S. They found that people who had close social contact or direct physical contact to someone with COVID-19 had a 10.7% risk of transmission. That risk fell to 4.7% for lower-risk contact with infected individuals. But among children between the ages of 0 to 14 years old and their peers, and for adults older than 65 years old and their peers, there was "enhanced transmission risk." And researchers say they found "high prevalence of infection among children who were contacts of cases around their own age." To what degree children, especially young ones, transmit the virus is largely unclear. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics in July found that out of 132 children with mild to moderate forms of COVID-19, those younger than five years old had significantly more viral genetic material in their noses than older children and adults. In the U.S., there are 624,890 total cases of children having COVID-19, making up 10% of all. U.S. cases, as of Sept. 24, according to the Academy of American Pediatrics . Researchers for the Science study noted that most research so far has focused on higher-income regions like China, Europe, and the U.S.
Oct. 1, 2020, 10:20 a.m. EDT