Pediatrics

Do Asymptomatic Kids with COVID-19 Carry Less Virus?





New questions are at the forefront as a study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology from nine children's hospitals finds that most asymptomatic children who tested positive for COVID-19 had relatively low levels of the virus compared to symptomatic children. The authors caution that the reason for this finding is unclear and more questions need to be answered. Were the asymptomatic children generally tested later in their disease, and were their viral loads potentially higher closer to the beginning of their infections? If tested early in disease, would asymptomatic children have viral loads as high as symptomatic children? Or do asymptomatic children typically not carry as much virus as children with symptoms? If so, how would lower viral loads impact the risk of transmission? These questions are essential to further clarify the public health impact of pediatric COVID-19.

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