Belgium study shows children are less likely to catch coronavirus at school than at home

Estudio en Bélgica muestra que niños tienen menos posibilidades de contagiarse de coronavirus en la escuela que en la casa

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers that the return to schools is safe if the levels of transmission of the coronavirus are low in the community in which the educational centers operate

Researchers in Belgium concluded that the chances of children getting infected with coronavirus it is less in school than in their own homes.

To arrive at this theory, the scientists collected information from 4,715 people who were placed in preventive quarantine for having had to contact in schools with someone infected.

From the above amount, it is estimated that 11 employees and 36 students were infected in schools.

“This is only 0.8% of the 4,472 children in quarantine,” detailed virologist Steven Van Gucht cited by RT News. The experts added that it can be said that “the percentage of secondary infections at school is very low.”

“As a comparison: in-home situations, a patient infects between 10 and 20% of the members of his family, a percentage that is much higher than at school”, the expert pointed out.

The statistics were compiled by the Sciensano national health institute between the beginning of the pandemic, in March, and last June 28.

The study also found that, throughout that period, 267 of the minors examined had to be hospitalized for coronavirus, equivalent to 1.6% of those who were diagnosed with COVID-19 throughout the country.

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At the peak of the pandemic, about the same number of children were hospitalized in Belgium, most of them very young. “Approximately half of those admitted were under one year old and a third was under three months,” explained Van Gucht.

The researcher added that the period of care was short or “three days on average,” and that the children were brought to the medical center just one day after they developed a fever and began to cough.

Contrasts

The results of these studies in Belgium contrast with the case reported in Israel after the reopening of the schools on May 17.

Ten days later, the massive spread began with the first case reported on May 26. The total, 153 students were infected and 25 employees, according to the Eurosurveillance.org report.

What the WHO says

On this issue, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers that the return to schools is safe if the levels of transmission of the coronavirus are low in the community in which the educational centers operate.

“The most important thing to go back to school is that the disease is reduced in the community. If the transmission is low in the community, if epidemiological surveillance, contact tracing, and sanitation are good, then schools can reopen, ‘said the director of the WHO Department of Health Emergencies, Mike Ryan, as quoted today by the Efe news agency.

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