SARS CoV2 transmission in children

A collection of links on SARS CoV2 transmission in children.

There’s this which summarizes some findings:

Of 39 evaluable households, in only 3 (8%) was a child the suspected index case

…Of 68 children with confirmed COVID-19 … 65 (95.59%) patients were HHCs of previously infected adults.7 Of 10 children hospitalized … in only 1 was there possible child to adult transmission

…a 9-year-old boy with respiratory symptoms associated with picornavirus, influenza A, and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection was found to have exposed over 80 classmates at 3 schools; no secondary contacts became infected, despite numerous influenza infections within the schools, suggesting an environment conducive to respiratory virus transmission

…In New South Wales, Australia, 9 students and 9 staff infected with SARS-CoV-2 across 15 schools had close contact with a total of 735 students and 128 staff. Only 2 secondary infections were identified, none in adult staff; 1 student in primary school was potentially infected by a staff member, and 1 student in high school was potentially infected via exposure to 2 infected schoolmates.

This from Ireland is a case study with just 6 infected kids who attended school while infected and they infected zero additional people in school (I’d love this same study but with 500 infected kids who then went to school, but all we get is n=6):

This has more small studies summarized, some overlap with the first one. They all find that children are the “index case” in a very small number of cases (like 5%):

Also this piece in NPR which finds:

There are almost no recorded cases of child-to-adult transmission of COVID-19

This from a Spanish study covering more than 1,900 people:

we were able to detect 39 newly appeared index cases … of which 30 were found in children …. These children had 253 contacts, who were boys and girls from their respective cohabitation groups. From these, there were only 12 contagions, which is 4.7% and an R reproduction rate of 0.3. This is a low R number, six times lower than the one that we have found among the general population, which ranges from 1.7 to 2

Update 2020/09/10: a summary by Nic Lewis of an EU CDC report of the transmission of SARS CoV2 in schools finds that across Europe – where schools were more likely to remain open than in the US – there was little to no transmission taking place in schools, either from student to student or student to staff. :

The conclusion from these investigations is that child-to-child transmission in schools is uncommon and not the primary cause of SARS-CoV-2 infection of children …

Where COVID-19 in children was detected and contacts followed-up, no adult contacts in the school setting have been detected as SARS-CoV-2 positive during the follow-up period. The conclusion from these investigations is that children are not the primary drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to adults in the school setting.

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