Dr. Anthony Fauci said that a study is underway to try to find answers on how susceptible children are to getting infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Fauci is a member of the White House coronavirus task force and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“There’s still a lot to learn about what the prevalence and incidents of infection is in children,” Fauci said Friday on Washington Post Live. “And — as a group — do they spread, do they get antibodies, what’s the ‘in-family’ spread or not?”
The study, called Human Epidemiology and Response to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS), will also examine what percentage of children infected with the novel coronavirus develop symptoms of the disease or are asymptomatic.
Fauci mentioned a recent study that claims kids younger than 10 years old don’t spread the coronavirus as readily as adults do, and those between 10 to 19 years old were found to spread it as much as adults. However, Fauci stressed that there still are many unknowns.
He believes the study involving elementary school-aged children and their families will help answer relevant questions.
“How frequently do they get infected, and if they do, do they transmit it to adults and would they be part of the spread of infection,” Fauci said. “Even though we have some information about that, we still need more information.”
The six-month study began in May. Fauci expects some answers by December.
Some of the study participants are children with allergies and asthma.
“Preliminary evidence suggests that having an allergic condition paradoxically may reduce a person’s susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19 disease,” according to a news release on the study.
Research exploring the allergies angle may broaden knowledge about how coronavirus infects cells.
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