The Head of Medical Microbiology at the UMCG, Alex Friedrich, is concerned about the developments
Translated by Thomas Ansell
According to US research, it seems that both children and young adults that exhibit only mild Coronavirus symptoms are incredibly infectious. The news concerns the UMCG virologist Alex Friedrich, who has become one a well-known expert voice during the pandemic.
As reported by the Dagblad van het Noorden, the research has been published in The Journal of Pediatrics, a US-based scientific journal. The research focussed on people between 18 and 22 years old, and found that those with a confirmed infection but mild symptoms spread large amounts of virus-particles in the open air.
The RIVM maintains that children and young people are not a large carrier group for COVID-19: “for the common-cold virus you can often see that children can easily pass on the illness between themselves, and on to adult. That doesn’t seem to be the case for the new Coronavirus”.
Scientists in the US say that the Coronavirus’ symptoms overlap with significant numbers of other similar viruses, such as the seasonal flu and common cold. As autumn begins, more and more children will begin to sniffle, and according to researchers this means that people must be more alert should a child have non-specific symptoms.
The researchers go on to say that we should be ‘concerned’ when looking at re-opening schools (most Dutch schools have already re-opened). The authors go on to suggest that schools must bring in preventative policies to stop young people becoming ‘super-spreaders’, such as maintaining social distancing, making face-masks compulsory, and home-learning where possible.
Dr Friedrich has added to this commentary on Twitter, saying: “when symptoms are mild, more virus-spreading particles are seen. More even than from adults with a heavy sickness. This could make prevention of the virus spreading even more difficult”.