Children are effectual spreaders of COVID-19, according to the largest contact tracing study conducted of the novel coronavirus yet. This is based on a study entitled "Epidemiology and transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in two Indian states" published in the journal "Science" and was collated by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Princeton Environmental Institute, and the University of California, Berkeley.

The Largest Contact Tracing Study

Also according to the study, kids could spread coronavirus among themselves but young adults are the prime source of the prevalence of the virus. The research is based on a large contact tracing effort involving over 3 million people in India.

COVID-19's prevalence is triggered by a mere small percentage of those who contract it. Transmitting the virus is especially more prevalent within households.

Kids are efficient at spreading COVID-19 within their age groups. Researchers had results from over half a million people from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu regions tracked following over 80,000 primary or index contractions of the virus, reported TMJ4.

The study published on September 30 traced the infection pathways and rate of fatalities of 575,071 people who were exposed to 84,965 cases of the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. A contract tracing study is a process of detecting individuals who came into contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

Infection among the people studied in the two southern Indian states is most susceptible in a long train or bus ride. The vulnerability of transmission from a primary case to another person was 80% for passengers sitting next to an individual who tested positive riding a train or bus for over 6 hours not wearing a face mask, reported NPR.

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The First Large Study to Capture Superspreading

According to Ramanan Laxminarayan, a senior research scholar at the Princeton Environmental Institute, their paper is the first large study to depict the remarkable extent to which COVID-19 depends on "superspreading" wherein a few individuals transmit the coronavirus on to numerous individuals. Only 8% of individuals who contracted COVID-19 had accounted for 60% of new confirmed cases. Seventy percent of people who tested positive for the virus did not infect any of their contacts.

The research is contrary to the broadly held claim that kids are unlikely to contract COVID-19. "We find otherwise. They are getting infected in significant numbers," according to Ramanan Laxminarayan who spearheaded the study, reported CNN.

"Our study presents the largest empirical demonstration of superspreading that we are aware of in any infectious disease. Superspreading events are the rule rather than the exception when one is looking at the spread of COVID-19, both in India and likely in all affected places," stated Laxminarayan.

Laxminarayan added that the fact that a mere 8 percent of index cases accounted for 60 percent of new contractions is a largely out of proportion and superspreading has been conjectured but undocumented.

Researchers discovered that the largest proportion of infected contacts within most age groups were exposed to index cases from 20 to 44 years old. That age group resulted in the largest rate of secondary cases but kids under 15 also had large rates of secondary prevalence among their own age group.

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