Emerging evidence had suggested that COVID-19 is fairly rare among children. A large-scale study has now backed this up. Published in BMJ Journals, the study confirmed that only 1 percent of COVID-19 positive in the UK cases were children. These results are based on large-scale testing. The results indicate that children have a limited role in infection and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The aim of the research was to compare the trends, testing practices, surveillance, and case fatality between children and adults during the first COVID-19 outbreak in the UK, from January to May. The team studied trends in COVID-19 cases, including severe cases. They compared the positivity rates and community prevalence in children with adults. This included cases of children with acute respiratory infection (ARI).
The team found that children accounted for just 1.1 percent of all COVID-19 positive cases in the test period. In all 540,305 people were tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, of which 129,704 or 24 percent were found positive. Children (less than 16 years old) accounted for 35,200 tests of which 1408 or 4 percent tested positive. This amounted to 1.1 percent of the total positive cases. Among people with acute respiratory infection, children counted for 351 cases in a total of 2,961 cases. Cases among children started increasing from mid-March and peaked just before mid-April before declining. Of the cases studies in chidren, the team found four deaths, of which four were due to COVID-19. No excess mortality was found in children.