Coronavirus: Children half as likely to catch COVID-19 than adults, analysis suggests

September 28, 2020

Children are 44% less likely to catch coronavirus than adults, according to an analysis led by the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Preliminary evidence suggests children younger than 10 to 14 years old are less likely to catch the virus than adults over 20 years old.

They are also more likely to be asymptomatic, meaning they have very few - if any - symptoms.

However, the data does not show whether children are more or less likely to pass on the virus to other people.

The analysis, led by Russell Viner, looked at 32 studies of 41,640 children and adolescents and 268,945 adults.

This included contact-tracing studies and population-screening studies from countries across the world, including China, the US and India.

Previous studies have also suggested that children are less vulnerable to severe disease from COVID-19.

Children who get severe symptoms or die are "vanishingly rare", according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

The evidence so far appears reassuring for parents who have sent their children back to school this month.

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Schools closed to most students in March when the UK went into national lockdown but have since reopened as restrictions eased.

Still, cases have sprung up in schools around the country, with the number of schools in England that are not fully open to students quadrupling in a week.

The number of state schools with partial closures in place due to coronavirus cases was 4% on 17 September, up from 1% on 10 September.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said on Monday there are currently 8,000 school children self-isolating in the city along with over 350 teachers and staff.

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