LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Children are much more likely to spread COVID-19 than adults, according to a new study.
The research, conducted by the University of Florida, found while kids are less susceptible to COVID-19, they are nearly 60% more likely than adults over 60 to infect other family members when they are sick. The study was based on contract tracing data from thousands of households in Wuhan, China.
As of Monday, city data shows a little more than 1,300 children under age 10 in Lubbock have been infected, a lot less than other age groups.
“We know that by giving the influenza vaccine to children, it reduces influenza in adults. So yes, children can pass respiratory viruses more because they don’t know to wipe their nose, they don’t know to wash their hands,” Dr. Richard Lampe, professor and chairman of pediatrics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said.
We are still months, if not a year away from vaccinating children against COVID-19, he said.
“To study vaccines and their efficacy in children is a lot more burdensome than asking you or me to sign permission to enter a study to get either the placebo or the real vaccine, then seeing what the outcomes are,” Dr. Lampe said.
Fortunately, he said kids tend not to get as sick from it as older adults might.
“They may get the virus and not show it,” he said. “In terms of susceptibility, I might say they might get it, but it doesn’t affect their bodies so that they have to go see a doctor or they wind up in the hospital like their grandparents or like their parents.”
Lampe said we can protect children and families by following all COVID-19 protocols. He said 10% of people who wear masks can reduce the spread by 4%.