Children are more likely than adults to display coronavirus symptoms - according to a new study

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 1:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 1:52 pm
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated its advice regarding face masks and children (Photo: Shutterstock)

A new study has found that children are likely to display symptoms when suffering from coronavirus, suggesting that the idea that children are potential “facilitators” of Covid-19 could be reconsidered.

Scientists in Milan found that only one per cent of kids tested positive without any symptoms and signs of infection, compared with nine per cent of adults.

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The authors of the study said, “these data do not support the hypothesis that children are at higher risk of carrying SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatically than adults.”

“In this study, children without symptoms and signs of SARS-CoV-2 carried the virus less frequently than adults, suggesting that their role as facilitators of the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 infection could be reconsidered,” the report went on.

Kids thought to experience different symptoms

Schools across the UK returned earlier in the month with fears that kids might be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

This new study comes after findings from King’s College London revealed that kids experience different symptoms to adults when contracting Covid-19, including fatigue, headache, and a fever.

The results also showed that a third of the school-aged children who tested positive for the virus never reported experiencing any of the 20 symptoms listed on the Covid symptom tracker app. The findings were based on reports of symptoms among 198 children who tested positive for the disease out of almost 16,000 tested.

The findings added to calls for age-specific symptom checklists.

Prof Tim Spector, of King’s College London, who led the work, said, “We need to start to telling people what are the key symptoms at different ages rather than this blanket obsession with fever, cough and lack of smell.”

When should my child be tested for Coronavirus?

Parents have been advised to only take their children out of education if they are experiencing the three main symptoms of coronavirus.

These include:

- A high temperature

- A new, continuous cough (this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours)

- A loss or change to sense of smell or taste (this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal)

Typical symptoms of a cold, such as a runny nose or a sore throat, are not considered symptoms of coronavirus, and as such, children do not need to be kept off school if experiencing these symptoms.