Kids Unlikely To Spread Covid-19 In School When Precautions Applied

Finds A Study By The University Of Tennessee In The USA

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Children like common people do spread and catch the novel coronavirus. But there has been a huge debate worldwide over whether they would be exposed to more risks of contracting the virus if they are allowed to get back to schools amid the ongoing pandemic. But a new study by the University of Tennessee has possibly cleared the air, reports CNN.

The study has found that kids while in schools were less likely to spread the new coronavirus if adequate precautionary measures are taken by the authorities. It also found that children while out of schools were likely to be more transmissible or vulnerable to the virus.

The research is carried out from August through December last year involving two k to 12 schools in the USA. One was described as being in the Southeast and one in the Mid-Atlantic.

Each school maintained the preventive guidelines including social distancing, mask wearing etc. given by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also implemented hard laboratory screening testing policies.

In a pre-print study posted online, the researchers stated that there was no evidence of student-to-teacher or teacher-to-student transmission in either of the schools.

The researchers found that out of 3,500 students, just 234 coronavirus infections were recorded in the fall semester (August to December), adding just 9% of students who brought new infections to school infected others.

In the online article, the scientists further said, ‘seventy two percent of in-school transmission cases in School A were associated with noncompliance with school mask wearing rules. Of known off-campus sources, the major ones identified were family exposure, including siblings returning from college; off-campus activities, including parties and other gatherings.’

Of the study findings, Dr. Darria Long at the University of Tennessee Department of Emergency Medicine said, ‘children do contract Covid-19 and can transmit it, but rates of illness when they are in school are lower than rates of illness when they are out of school, suggesting that children and communities may be at lower risk when children are in school.’

According to Dr. Darria, their study is the only, comprehensive and long-term study that tested all K-12 students (asymptomatic) and staff over the period.

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