Would you get your child vaccinated if you knew he or she is a silent carrier of COVID-19? A new study claims that one-third of the cases of COVID-19 positive children are silent carriers.
Over 35 percent of COVID-19 positive kids are asymptomatic and show no symptoms. During the testing phase in schools, silent carriers may not easily be detected. Because, one, they do not show symptoms like coughing and sneezing. And two, they are asked symptoms not necessarily indicative of COVID-19.
But one symptom is evident in COVID-19 positive children, be they asymptomatic or symptomatic. Loss of smell is 7 times higher in COVID-19 positive kids, HuffPost reported.
Asymptomatic Children, More than Expected
Previous estimates suggested between 16 to 45 percent of COVID-19 positive kids are asymptomatic. The findings revealed that more than 30 percent are silent carriers.
The research from Canada revealed clear estimates on just how many COVID-19 positive children are silent carriers. The study is based on the findings of 2,400 children who tested COVID-19 positive between April and September.
The study was conducted before school started. Hence, a new study is currently in the works to provide statistics for the number of asymptomatic kids now that classes commenced.
Coughing, Sneezing Children Test Negative for COVID-19
On the contrary, the common symptoms of COVID-19, such as coughing, runny nose, and sore throat, were more evident among children who tested negative for COVID-19.
In schools, if the child showed no symptoms, he may not need to be tested. Meanwhile, a classmate who shows symptoms is tested. However, the actual case is that the child showing symptoms is negative for COVID-19 and the silent carrier is positive.
COVID-19 is creating confusion but also challenges the way COVID-19 testing is done. Kids may spread the virus to their families from an asymptomatic classmate. This is what needs to be avoided.
In the meantime, social distancing, frequent handwashing, and wearing masks have become the standard public advice in schools.
Experts Say Teachers Need Vaccination the Most
Next to healthcare, frontline workers, teachers, and school staff should be the next priority for a COVID-19 vaccine, the National PTA, teachers unions, and education organizations urged the CDC, HuffPost reported.
The CDC agreed upon distinctive factors that make the teachers and school staff at risk of spreading COVID-19. Teachers come in close contact with many people, adults, and kids included throughout the day. Plus, they are in a closed environment with children for many hours at a time.
With the knowledge that a growing number of COVID-19 positive children are asymptomatic, a vaccine for teachers becomes all the more necessary. Furthermore, if teachers get vaccinated, they are seen as symbols of trust that may encourage the general public to resolve their fear of COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 Vaccination for Kids, Possibly Next School Year
Even with the new findings on children being silent carriers of COVID-19, children are still not on the list of top priorities for getting COVID-19 vaccination.
Surveys show that parents are less likely to allow their kids to get vaccinated against COVID-19 even more than they will consider getting vaccinated themselves, according to BMJ.
Meanwhile, The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages kids to participate in vaccine trials. Pfizer is yet to begin testing the COVID-19 vaccine on children ages 12 and up. For most children in the U.S., vaccination is not probable until the next academic year.
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