May 6, 2021

Young children are not immune to COVID-19

Young children are not immune to COVID-19

Pick of the coronavirus papers: Young children are not immune to COVID-19

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30 April — Young children are not immune to COVID-19

Children are as likely as adults to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 after close contact with an infected person, according to a study of people in Shenzhen, China.

Justin Lessler at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, Tiejian Feng at the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention and their colleagues analysed nearly 400 cases of COVID-19 and 1,300 people who were ‘close contacts’ of the infected people (Q. Bi et alLancet Inf. Dis; 2020). The team found that 7% of close contacts younger than age 10 became infected — roughly the same as in the population overall. The work was first posted online as a preprint 27 March (

The researchers also found that just 9% of original cases were responsible for 80% of infections detected in close contacts. Such ‘superspreading’ events could lead to “large COVID-19 clusters”, the authors write.

Illustration of purple spheres studded with red and white protusions attaching to a purple surface with blue and grprotrusions.
SARS-CoV-2 binds to a target cell by deploying viral proteins (red)

Source: Nature

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