It is back-to-school week in many jurisdictions across the country and people are asking questions about COVID19 and children.
Jim Kellner is a Consultant in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Community Health Sciences, and Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He is also the co-leader on the Genome Alberta supported COVID-19 Precision Health Genomics for Children: A multiomic study of the Alberta Childhood COVID-19 Cohort project so we turned him to get some answers.
Children make up a small minority of coronavirus cases around the world. Alberta has ramped up testing of children and that increased testing has found up to 15% of children test positive, but less than 1% of children with the disease end up in hospital. More importantly even fewer end up in intensive care and there have been no deaths of children from COVID-19. Reassuring news as they get set to go back into the classroom.
Though children may be less likely to get infected with COVID-19, they can most certainly contract the disease. Limited research is suggesting that they may not be the main ‘reservoir’ for transmission, but again yes, they can transmit the disease to each other and to adults.
Freelance broadcaster Don Hill talked with Jim Kellner about the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19,