10 -18 year-olds most likely to transmit Covid-19, study highlights

Published Jul 22, 2020


CAPE TOWN - A recent study conducted in South Korea found that patients between the ages of 10 to 18 years of age showed higher rates of Covid-19 transmission.

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a recent study report focusing on the transmission of Covid-19 in South Korea with data collected from 5 706 patients.

The study tested around 60 000 people that had been in contact with an infected person and found that 11.8 percent of people tested positive for Covid-19 who had an infected household member. Researchers also found that the rates were higher for contacts of children than adults.

"These risks largely reflected transmission in the middle of mitigation and therefore might characterize transmission dynamics during school closure," the research report said and suggested this may be due to spread within the house due to family members staying home as much as possible.

"We also found the highest Covid-19 rate (18.6 percent) for household contacts of school-aged children (10 to 18 years old)," the report said, "the lowest (5.3 percent) for household contacts of children 0–9 years".

Although a contact tracing study conducted in Wuhan and Shanghai, China, showed that infection rate amongst all school children was significantly reduced due to school closures, the study warns that the reopening of schools may greatly increase the infection rate in school children and in-effect risk the safety in households as all transmissions come from exposure outside the home.

Although many schools have begun the reopening phases of schools throughout the country, many parents and teachers remain concerned about their children's safety with several protests taking place calling on the government to reinstate school closures nationally.

The full research report can be viewed here.

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