Until now, the scientific community has believed that Covid-19 hardly affects young children, and that they are not very contagious. However, a new study has shown that this information may be inaccurate, and although they do not get sick, the level of the virus found in children under 5 years old can be 10 to 100 times higher than what is commonly known. found in adults. A high viral load in children, but a transmission capacity that remains unknown In young children, severe cases of illness caused by SARS-CoV-2 are generally rare. In fact, the majority of children who have tested positive for Covid-19 are healthy carriers or only display mild symptoms. Faced with this state of affairs, it was thus concluded that children are not very dangerous as regards the spread of the virus. This is in particular the reasoning behind the fact that children under 12 are exempt from the obligation to wear a face mask. A new study carried out by a team of American researchers from various institutions in Chicago, however, denies this information. Indeed, according to their findings, infected children have as much coronavirus genetic material in their nose and throat as adults. Worse still, children under five with mild symptoms have between 10 and 100 times more virus than adults, which means they can potentially spread the disease much more to those around them. Moreover, this finding agrees with the results of a German study. Note that the study did not prove that the children were contagious, but the scientists did not rule out this possibility, given the level of viral load observed in them. The authors of the study also made it clear that the study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, was essentially based on the search for viral RNA - the equivalent of DNA in viruses - from samples taken from children, and not from the live virus. The team also did not assess whether the virus could replicate itself. It was explained that this should be the next step in similar research that could prove whether children are actually contagious. - Studio Peace \/ Shutterstock.com Vital information for the reopening of schools To come to this conclusion, the researchers looked at nasal swabs from 145 patients in March and April. The patients all had symptoms of Covid-19 infection. The subjects were divided into three groups: 46 children under five, 51 children aged 5 to 18 and 48 adults. The most seriously ill patients were excluded, as were asymptomatic subjects. In support of the study results, the researchers explained that children are often the source of the spread of respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses. She thus stressed that the Covid-19 is perhaps no different.As long as the children remain in confinement, this information could be trivial. But given that they are less and less so, and that they are moreover exempt from wearing a mask, the situation could become unmanageable; especially when the time comes to go back to school. " We must take this into account in our efforts to reduce transmission as we continue to learn more about this virus \u201d, argued Taylor Heald-Sargent, an expert in pediatric infectious diseases and lead author of the study, in a press release. Moreover, the Dr Heald-Sargent also explained that it could be important in targeting for Covid-19 vaccination efforts.