Children not substantially contributing to spread of Covid-19 - HIQA

Children not substantially contributing to spread of Covid-19 - HIQA

Children are not substantially contributing to the spread of Covid-19 in their households or in schools, according to HIQA.

The summaries published today investigate the international evidence on immunity and the spread of the virus by children.

One study shows that while there is a high transmission of coronavirus among adults over 25, transmission is lower in younger people particularly those under 14.

HIQA’s Deputy CEO and Director of Health Technology Assessment, Dr Máirín Ryan, said: “An Australian study that examined potential spread from 18 confirmed (nine students and nine staff) cases to over 800 close contacts in 15 different schools found that no teacher or staff member contracted Covid-19 from any of the initial school cases.

"One child from a primary school and one child from a high school may have contracted Covid-19 from the initial cases at their schools.”

HIQA found that there remains a lack of clear evidence as to whether long-term immunity is possible from SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes Covid-19.

Studies have shown that antibodies against Covid-19 develop soon after infection but there is no long term evidence of immunity as it is a new virus.

There will need to be continued monitoring to assess the adequacy and duration of the immune response.

HIQA has said that it is not yet possible to determine if reinfection is possible following recovery from the virus.

"While some individuals have tested positive after recovery, this is likely due to virus re-detection where there is intermittent shedding of the virus rather than reinfection with a second virus.

"To date, there is no evidence that these individuals are infectious to others.”

The evidence summaries were developed by HIQA following requests from National Public Health Emergency Team’s Clinical Expert Advisory Group and are informing the national response to the pandemic.

The evidence summaries can be viewed here.

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