Children are not super-spreaders of Covid-19 and they can return to school as they pose a low risk, research suggests. File image: African News Agency (ANA)
Children are not super-spreaders of Covid-19 and they can return to school as they pose a low risk, research suggests. File image: African News Agency (ANA)

Limited evidence of coronavirus transmission in school setting, say experts

By BEEZY MARSH Time of article published Jun 5, 2020

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London - Children are not super-spreaders of Covid-19 and they can return to school as they pose a low risk, research suggests.

There is limited evidence of coronavirus transmission in school settings, say experts from Dublin’s Health Service Executive.

They found that nobody with the virus transmitted it to anyone else in a school setting prior to the lockdown.

The researchers traced 1 000 close contacts of three children and three teachers from the Republic of Ireland who were later found to be infected with the virus before schools were shut.

They contracted the virus not in the classroom but when travelling or due to a household outbreak.

The youngsters were all aged ten to 15 – with one in primary school and two in secondary school.

There was no confirmed virus transmission in a school setting from the six cases to the 1 155 child and adult contacts, according to the research published in the journal Eurosurveillance.

Even "high risk" activities such as choir practice and playing woodwind instruments failed to cause a single transmitted case.

Children are typically super-spreaders of viruses but experts from the HSE believe that this is not the case with Covid-19.

One single child with Covid-19 accounted for more than 500 contacts but they did not transmit the virus to a single person.

Among the three teachers, there were two secondary cases but these transmissions did not occur at a school and did not involve anyone from the schools. There was no transmission from the adults to any children.

Dr Geraldine Casey from the HSE said: "The limited evidence of transmission in school settings supports the reopening of schools as part of the easing of current restrictions." 

The University of Warwick has also suggested that sending children to school is low risk and would not risk a second wave of the virus.

But this comes as new research, led by scientists at University College London who advise the British government, found that reopening schools will cause a second wave unless there are improvements to the test and trace system.

Daily Mail

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