New Study Reveals Asymptomatic Children May Be Spreading Virus

Just because you're not showing symptoms of COVID-19, that doesn't mean you're not a carrier...

According to a new research study in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, coronavirus-infected children who show no symptoms of the virus could still be ill and spreading the disease.

Published on Wednesday, the study shows 36 different cases of kids (under the age of 16), who had tested positive for COVID-19. Out of those 36 cases, 28% showed absolutely no symptoms, and only 19% showed mild respiratory issues.

“The large proportion of asymptomatic children indicates the difficulty in identifying pediatric patients who do not have clear epidemiological information, leading to a dangerous situation in community-acquired infections,” researchers said.

Researchers are months away from reports out of China, Europe, South Korea. But the main concern now is the possibility of people spreading the virus, and being totally unaware of it.

“Although fever, dry cough, and mild pneumonia are common manifestations, nearly half of patients have neither obvious symptoms nor abnormal radiological findings,” researchers wrote in the paper.

According to Stephen Gluckman, an infectious diseases physician at Penn Medicine and the medical director of Penn Global Medicine, it's not just children. “There are people that have Coronavirus that don’t have any symptoms at all,” he said. The asymptomatic Coronavirus carriers can infect people, but it’s uncertain for how long and how many there are.

“People have to be vigilant about avoiding close contact with other individuals and not assuming that just because someone isn’t sick, they’re not carrying the virus," Gluckman added.

Check out the full study inThe Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

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