Can children spread and transmit coronavirus?

30 April 2020, 11:17

Children and coronavirus has been a huge topic this week as new statistics emerge
Children and coronavirus has been a huge topic this week as new statistics emerge. Picture: PA

By Zoe Adams

Children and Covid-19 have been a huge talking point as the Government discusses back to school plans - but do they pass on coronavirus? And can they transmit it?

Can children spread coronavirus? It's the big topic of conversation at the moment as Boris Johnson and the government discuss potential plans to reopen schools following the lockdown.

Not only that, but doctors and health experts have been looking into a possible connection between Covid-19 and Kawasaki disease after reports of increased cases.

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So, can children transmit coronavirus? How likely is it that kids will pass Covid-19 on? And can they catch coronavirus? Here’s what recent research has said:

Children passing Covid-19 on to adults seems to be extremely unlikely, says new research
Children passing Covid-19 on to adults seems to be extremely unlikely, says new research. Picture: PA

Can children spread coronavirus?

A study by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health and supported by the World Health Organisation amongst other research parties, have found there has not been a single case of a child under ten passing on the illness.

It found evidence that “consistently demonstrates reduced infection and infectivity of children in the transmission chain”.

Dr Alasdair Munro who led the research, said: "Covid-19 appears to affect children less often, and with less severity, including frequent asymptomatic or sub-clinical infection.

"There is evidence of critical illness, but it is rare. The role of children in transmission is unclear, but it seems likely they do not play a significant role."

Supporting the research findings, a British boy who contracted coronavirus did not pass it on despite being in contact with over 170 people.

Can children catch coronavirus?

Yes, just like adults children can catch Covid-19 however, cases suggest it’s more likely they’ll suffer with milder symptoms.