What’s going on?
The British government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats advisory group (Nervtag) recently suggested that the new COVID-19 variant could spread easier among children.
In fact, a new study from the U.K. by Imperial College said that the new COVID-19 mutation spreads faster and affects younger people.
- An examination of the virus showed “that the Variant of Concern (VOC) has higher transmissibility than non-VOC lineages, even if the VOC has a different latent period or generation time. Available SGTF data indicate a shift in the age composition of reported cases, with a larger share of under 20-year-olds among reported VOC than non-VOC cases.”
The research continues:
Professor Wendy Barclay, from Nervtag and Imperial College London, told BBC News that the new COVID-19 mutation could put children on a ”more level playing field” with adults as far as the virus spreading. But more research needs to be done.
- “Therefore children are equally susceptible, perhaps, to this virus as adults, and therefore given their mixing patterns, you would expect to see more children being infected.”
- “If it were true, then this might explain a significant proportion, maybe even the majority, of the transmission increase seen,” he added.
Scientists who work with the COG-UK, the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium, said they haven’t seen any evidence yet that the new mutation spreads easier among children.