republicworld– As the world continues to battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, a study conducted by the University of Alberta suggests that more than one-third of children suffering from Coronavirus are asymptomatic. The study also claimed that the youngsters diagnosed with the disease may represent just a fraction of those infected. This study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. A professor of medicine in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, Finlay McAlister, said that there is probably a lot of COVID-19 circulating in the community that people don’t even realise.
Finlay McAlister said, “When we see reports of 1,200 new cases per day in the province of Alberta, that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg–there are likely many people who don’t know they have the disease and are potentially spreading it.”
Study: Children diagnosed with Covid are asymptomatic
For the study, McAlister’s team analysed results of 2,463 children who were tested during the first wave of COVID-19 outbreak. Out of these 2,463 children, 1,987 tested positive while 476 had a negative result. Out of the children who had tested positive, 714 were reported asymptomatic. Expressing concern over the study’s findings, McAlister said, ‘We can do all the COVID-19 questionnaires we want, but if one-third of the kids are asymptomatic, the answer is going to be no to all the questions and yet they are still infected.’ He added that due to the asymptomatic nature of the disease in up to one-third of children, the province was right to close schools for a longer period.
The professor said, “As far as we know, kids are less likely to spread disease than adults, but the risk is not zero. Presumably asymptomatic spreaders are less contagious than the person sitting nearby who is sneezing all over you, but we don’t know that for sure.”
The researchers of the study also said that although cough, runny nose and sore throat were some of the most common symptoms among kids suffering from Coronavirus infection, these symptoms were rather more common among the group of children with negative COVID-19 test results. ‘Of course, kids are at risk of contracting many different viruses, so the COVID-specific symptoms are actually more things like loss of taste and smell, headache, fever, and nausea and vomiting, not the runny nose, a cough and sore throat,’ McAlister added.
Concluding the findings of the study, McAlister said that people who experience any kind of symptom at all, then they should stay home and get tested while those who feel well should be taking all possible precautions such as wearing a protective mask, frequent handwashing, keeping distance and avoid meeting indoors. He said, ‘Some people with COVID feel well and don’t realize they have it so they socialize with friends and unintentionally spread the virus, and I think that’s the big issue.’