Children 'not a major contributor' in spread of Covid-19 limited evidence shows

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Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

Children 'not a major contributor' in spread of Covid-19 limited evidence shows

Children 'not a major contributor' in spread of Covid-19 limited evidence shows

With schools shut and exams cancelled, limited evidence appears to show that children are not a major contributor to the spread of Covid-19, according to the health service watchdog which is advising health authorities.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published four summaries of academic research and evidence to support the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (NPHET’s) response to Covid-19.

HIQA says the summaries published today investigate the international evidence on immunity and the spread of the virus by children.

HIQA’s Deputy CEO and Director of Health Technology Assessment is Dr Máirín Ryan.

 “While the evidence is limited, it appears that children are not substantially contributing to the spread of Covid-19 in their household or in schools. One study suggests that while there is high transmission of Covid-19 among adults aged 25 years or older, transmission is lower in younger people particularly in those under 14 years of age.

“An Australian study that examined potential spread from 18 confirmed (nine students and nine staff) cases to over 800 close contacts in 15 different schools found that no teacher or staff member contracted COVID-19 from any of the initial school cases. One child from a primary school and one child from a high school may have contracted COVID-19 from the initial cases at their schools,” said Dr Ryan in a statement.

“HIQA develops evidence summaries following a thorough search of bibliographic databases, screening of identified studies to match relevant clinical questions, data extraction and quality appraisal of included studies. This robust process ensures that public health decisions are informed by the best available evidence and information from across the world,” concluded Dr Ryan.The evidence summaries were developed by HIQA following requests from NPHET’s Clinical Expert Advisory Group and are informing the national response to the pandemic.

Read the evidence summaries at https://bit.ly/2R4eL6f.