In what should be reassuring to parents about to send their children back to school, a new study out of the United Kingdom is expected to report that there is “little evidence” that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted within schools.
According to The Tribune from India, the study was carried out in 100 schools across England and tracked around 20,000 students monitored from April through July.
“A new study that has been done in UK schools confirms there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted in schools,” Professor Russell Viner, President of the UK’s Royal College of Paediatrics, told The Sunday Times of London. “This is some of the largest data you will find on schools anywhere. Britain has done very well in terms of thinking of collecting data in schools,” he said.
“It is absolutely essential for schools to reopen in September. The risks to children from [the novel coronavirus] are very low and the risks of school closures we know are very serious,” Professor Viner added.
Despite the good news from this new study, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal argues that children may be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus than has been initially reported.
The Journal claims there are “several studies and reports” that have been released in the past few weeks which “found coronavirus infections among children of all ages at places ranging from schools to camps to homes.”
It’s unclear which studies and reports The Journal was referring to. A link was not provided.
Additionally, it was recently reported by NPR that 97,000 children in the United States tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the last two weeks of July.
Despite the disconcerting rise in cases, it is nearly mainly agreed that even if children are able to become widely infected with the novel coronavirus, unlike previously thought, it is still extraordinarily unlikely that those under 18 years of age will die from the virus.
Indeed, the chance of someone under 18 dying from COVID-19 is close to zero.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of August 12, 82 individuals under 18 have died from the disease.
This is contrasted with the seasonal influenza virus, where the CDC reports that 600 children died from the flu in the 2017-2018 flu season.
COVID-19 is a serious virus, and precautions should continue to be taken to limit the spread and impact of it.
But hopefully, this study will provide some reassurance to parents whose kids are about to return to school.
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