In Hong Kong over forty percent of confirmed infections over 3 years of age and below have shown no symptoms to children, silent carriers of the coronavirus could be more contagious.
The coronavirus survived in stool samples during a period of 36 days for a single child, the data collected locally by researchers in China University.
In a separate study in the United States, researchers in the town also cited children with considerably greater viral loads than adults, who needed intensive care to make them more contagious.
“They are more likely to become a hidden source of infection, and may play a role in community transmission,” Professor Ng Siew-chien, associate director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research at the university, said on Tuesday (April 6).
“While we are working intensively to prevent high-risk individuals from being infected, it is important to come up with a solution to avoid unfavourable outcomes in young children.”The researchers stated that testing the samples for the stool could be a precise, safe and effective way to screen the Covid-19 for children.
Last month the government stated that it would make it easier for individual classroom restrictions to allow two-thirds of the pupils to come to school after Easter.
The University of China began providing children with free stool screening last March, with 17,500 trials completed between then and 25 March of this year. Of those tested positive, 22 children were tested, up to two per 1,000 tested.Asymptomatic infections accounted for 70% of confirmed cases, and 90% of those under the age of six.
Hong Kong also had a higher proportion of children infected with Covid-19 than mainland China, Italy, Spain, and the United States, according to the data. There were 201 children aged three and under among the 11,429 registered Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong as of March 25, with 40% of them asymptomatic.Since then, Hong Kong’s coronavirus situation has improved, with only seven new infections confirmed on Tuesday, four of which were imported. All three were related to existing cases in the region. The total number of reported cases in the city is now 11,531 with 205 deaths.
Professor Paul Chan Kay-sheung, chairman of Chinese University’s microbiology department, called for a focus on younger people because they are more likely to spread the virus in the society.Another researcher, Professor Albert Martin Li, recalled that parents screened their children for Covid-19, particularly if they had fever and cough symptoms similar to those of influenza.
“This is especially important for those who feel sick after visiting high-risk areas, or the residential building they live in has to undergo compulsory testing, or there is a reported sickness of unknown cause in school personnel and students.”
Source: South China Morning Post