Younger children may be more likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 infection at home compared with older children, with the highest odds of transmission observed for children 0 to 3 years old, according to a new study in JAMA Pediatrics. In 6,280 households with pediatric index cases in Ontario, Canada, the adjusted odds of household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by children aged 0 to 3 years was 1.43 compared with children aged 14 to 17 years, researchers found. Differences in infectivity among different pediatric age groups has implications for preventing infections in households, as well as schools and childcare, to minimize the risk of household secondary transmission.
“Although children do not appear to transmit infection as frequently as adults, caregivers should be aware of the risk of transmission while caring for sick children in the household setting,” the study author’s note in their conclusion. “As it is challenging and often impossible to socially isolate from sick children, caregivers should apply other infection control measures where feasible, such as use of masks, increased hand washing, and separation from siblings.”
Coverage of the study, which published Aug. 16, included articles by The New York Times and Medscape.