2.30 p.m., August 05, 2020
The dawning late summer is causing pandemic discussions in many states about whether and how schools are reopening. Several current scientific publications in specialist journals speak more for school operations: because children are less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, often only become ill and infections outside of schools have to be fought anyway.
“From a clinical point of view, most children / adolescents between the ages of one and 18 years have only mild or no Covid-19 disease and have the severe consequences of the infection much less often than adults. (…) Limited and increasing evidence suggests that susceptibility to infection generally increases with age, with children under the age of ten seeming to be less likely to be infected than adults and older adolescents with the same exposure to infected household members. Studies in children aged nine years or below show that they are less susceptible than ten to 14 year olds, “wrote now Meira Levinson and co-authors from institutes at Harvard University in Boston in the “New England Journal of Medicine”.
SARS-CoV-2 can affect schools, but does not “arise” there. Published on Monday “Lancet Child & Adolescent Health“ two studies on Covid-19 and education. A scientific investigation with the assessment of the The start of the school year in the UK in September showed the following in calculations: “The results of the simulation suggest that a second wave (from Covid-19) in the UK can be prevented if the test rates are increased (59 to 87 percent of all SARS-CoV-2 infected should be tested).” 75 percent of all people with symptomatic Covid-19 disease would have to be diagnosed and isolated in order to avoid additional problems caused by the opening of schools.
Very low risk of infection
The second study comes from Australia. The spread of Covid-19 in 25 schools and kindergartens in New South Wales was analyzed: There was a very low risk of infection for children and caregivers (teachers) if effektives Contact Tracing and other measures have been carried out.
A review by E. Goldstein from the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston can only be read on a preprint server without a peer review. There, reference is made to Chinese studies. For example, households in the Wuhan region would have had an infection rate of only four percent for under-18-year-olds, and a rate of 17 percent for adults, i.e. four times as much.
Elementary school lower rate than older students
There were also indications that elementary schools are less at risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 than schools for older people. “All of this suggests that the opening of elementary schools should be accompanied by other measures, such as reducing crowds and reducing the risk of transmission altogether.”