Three days before schools reopen: children do get corona, according to a study by KU Leuven

A new study from KU Leuven and Sciensano indicates that children are more susceptible to the corona virus than previously thought.

In the news: Children get corona faster than initially thought, say researchers at KU Leuven.

What is the research? Two groups of school children, from the badly affected Alken and the almost unaffected Pelt, were tested for corona antibodies. In Alken antibodies were measured in 14.4 percent of the participants (26 in 181) compared to 4.4 percent in Pelt (8 in 181). In other words, if many adults contract Covid-19, children will get it too.

Should we then reopen the schools? Professor Corinne Vandermeulen explains to the VRT: “These infections mainly occurred with adults within the family. In the first wave, the schools do not seem to have played an important role in the spread of the virus, ”he says. How infections develop at school, however, was not the subject of the study.

Now for the good news: Even if children contract the coronavirus, they seem to be less affected by it. They do not become seriously ill and more often have a symptom-free course of the disease. Only 34 children developed antibodies. The difference between primary school children and secondary school children is minimal.

But also: The children in the study became infected during or before the first lockdown. That explains the relatively high number of infections. Many measures, such as washing hands and keeping your distance, were not yet established at the time.


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