Role of children in household transmission of SARS-CoV-2


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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With schools re-opening in many countries, there has been much discussion about the possible role of children in SARS-CoV-2 spread.

In Archives of Disease in Childhood, a team from South Korea report on children's role in household transmission of COVID-19.

The team reviewed all paediatric COVID-19 index cases and their household members reported from 20 January to 6 April in South Korea. The secondary attack rate (SAR) from child index case to household secondary case was calculated.

A total of 107 paediatric COVID-19 index cases and 248 of their household members were identified. The median age of paediatric COVID-19 index cases was 15 years (IQR 10-17 years); 35.7 per cent were 16-18 years and 23.0 per cent were 13-15 years.

One pair of paediatric index-secondary household case was identified, giving a household SAR of 0.5 per cent (95% CI 0.0%-2.6%). The index case, aged 16 years, was self-quarantined at home after returning from the UK to Korea, staying in her room but sharing a meal table with the secondary case.

The authors concluded that the SAR from children to household members is low, provided social distancing is observed. The study underscores the importance of rigorous contact tracing and early isolation in limiting transmission within households.