CONTAMINATION – According to a study carried out on hundreds of children in Île-de-France, young people under the age of 15 are very few vectors of Covid-19 disease. And would benefit from better protection. Coronavirus
This is a study that will probably reassure the most worried parents.
While classrooms, colleges, and most high schools have opened in greater numbers since June 2, work done on children shows that they are weak propagators of Covid-19.
A study, coordinated by Robert Cohen, pediatric infectious disease specialist and vice-president of the French Pediatric Society, proves it.
To reach this conclusion, 605 children under the age of 15 were followed by 27 health professionals between April 14 and May 12 in Île-de-France.
According to the results, a small minority of children in the region have been affected by the disease.
“Serological tests show that 10% of Ile-de-France children have had the coronavirus,” said Robert Cohen, in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien.
Children “are very small contaminators.”
Positive point: among sick children, only a few of them were contagious.
Even if “at the beginning of the crisis, it was believed that they played an important role in the spread of the epidemic,” children “are very small contaminators,” assures Robert Cohen.
Among the young patients, “1.8% had a positive PCR test when they were detected during confinement,”, explains the professor. “But on closer inspection, we were really surprised to see that only 0.6% was contagious.”
Another positive element: outbreaks of contamination (known as “clusters”) are rarely caused by children. To date, 109 have been identified in France.
And for Robert Cohen, in the vast majority of cases, children are not responsible for it. “Try to find ‘clusters’ with children as a starting point,” he asks. “It’s less than one in ten!”
Low contamination … and low contamination
If they spread the disease little, young people under the age of 15 also seem to be better protected against infections.
“When you identify an infected person and test your loved ones, you realize that children are two to five times fewer carriers of the virus than adults,” said Robert Cohen to the Parisian.
Several tracks, noted by the pediatrician, could explain this difference with adults: “they seem to have fewer receptors for the virus on their nasal mucosa,” better resistance to infections thanks to the runny nose, as well as their small size which allows adults not to receive “their postilions in the face.”
Another explanation: cross-immunity. This hypothesis, which gives hope for an end to the epidemic thanks to the immunity generated by other coronaviruses (which cause common colds), had already been mentioned for children in early March by Éric Leroy, member of the ‘National Academy of Medicine. “In schools, children are exposed to many diseases and viruses.
Why not consider that they have contracted multiple other coronaviruses, non-pathogenic (which do not make you sick), but which would be sufficient to make them acquire a certain immunity with regard to this coronavirus? That could be another hypothesis “, he had then told LCI.