No child is known to have passed on Covid-19 to an adult, a medical review has found, as evidence suggests youngsters ‘do not play a significant role’ in transmission.
Researchers have also failed to uncover any cases of children under the age of 10 transmitting the virus, which has killed more than 26,000 people in the UK.
Studies into the impact of coronavirus on children also found it likely youngsters ‘do not play a significant role’ in transmission of the virus, although experts admitted the facts are still ‘unclear’.
A review of paediatric coronavirus evidence revealed ‘the China/WHO joint commission could not recall episodes during contact tracing where transmission occurred from a child to an adult’ (stock image)
Professor Russell Viner, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, told the Telegraph: ‘From around the world we are not seeing evidence that children are involved in spreading or transmitting the virus, but we do not have enough evidence.’
The review of ‘pertinent paediatric literature’ regarding coronavirus, led by Dr Alasdair Munro and published in partnership with the RCPCH, found current evidence ‘consistently demonstrates reduced infection and infectivity of children in the transmission chain.’
Among the studies considered was an infected nine-year-old boy in France who did not pass the vicious virus on to anyone – despite being in contact with 172 people while contagious.
The unnamed boy was at the centre of a cluster of cases which made international headlines in February.
He and 10 others were struck down while staying in a ski chalet in the French Alps as Steve Walsh, one of the first Britons known to have the virus.
The child went to three different ski schools in eastern France while unknowingly infected, and mingled with other people.
Experts have also failed to uncover any cases of children under the age of 10 transmitting the virus, which has killed more than 26,000 people in the UK (stock image)
‘Whilst a single case study, this evidence suggests different transmission dynamics from children, supporting other data which consistently demonstrates reduced infection and infectivity of children in the transmission chain,’ Don’t Forget the Bubbles researchers said of the case.
Researchers added that studies of ‘multiple family clusters’ in Guanzhou, China also suggested children were unlikely to be ‘the index case.’
The review concluded: ‘Covid-19 appears to affect children less often, and with less severity, including frequent asymptomatic or subclinical 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.
‘There is no direct evidence of vertical transmission, and early evidence suggests both infected mothers and infants are no more severely affected than other groups.’