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13th May 2020

Children do not appear to significantly contribute to spread of #Covid-19, says HIQA

Transmission appears to be lower in under 14s.

Children do not appear to significantly contribute to the spread of Covid-19, the Health Information and Quality Authority has said.

A report published today by the authority considered new research around the spread of coronavirus in children.

HIQA said today that the data, although limited, has shown that children do not appear to be notable contributors in the spread of the virus.

Similarly, transmission rates appear to be significantly lower in children under the age of 14 and higher in those over the age of 25.

“An Australian study that examined potential spread from 18 confirmed (nine students and nine staff) cases to over 800 close contacts in 15 different schools found that no teacher or staff member contracted Covid-19 from any of the initial school cases,” said HIQA’s deputy CEO Dr Máirín Ryan.

“One child from a primary school and one child from a high school may have contracted Covid-19 from the initial cases at their schools.”

The studies, however, were unable to determine whether immunity is guaranteed after an individual has contracted the virus.

“It is not yet possible to determine if reinfection is possible following recovery from COVID-19,” said Dr Ryan.

“While some individuals have tested positive after recovery, this is likely due to virus re-detection where there is intermittent shedding of the virus rather than reinfection with a second virus.

“To date, there is no evidence that these individuals are infectious to others.”