Children versus Adults – Asymptomatic

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

In a study conducted among individuals hospitalized in Milan, one of the cities with the highest SARS-CoV-2 burden in the world, about 1% of children and 9% of adults without any symptoms or signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection tested positive for the virus. It has been estimated that approximately 80% of adults with SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic.

The few available reports on children are from China and suggest that children who are asymptomatic might be 15% of individuals positive for SARS-CoV-2. In this study, children without symptoms and signs of SARS-CoV-2 carried the virus less frequently than adults, suggesting that their role as facilitators of the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 infection could be reconsidered. Along with this potential important implication, some limitations should be acknowledged:

  1. The study retrospectively analyzed only cases requiring hospitalization
  2. It reported a single-center experience

However, these preliminary results can help in understanding the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Particularly, these data do not support the hypothesis that children are at higher risk of carrying SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatically than adults. The study is available at the link below. Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!