Experts have identified the major spreaders of the more infectious and transmissible new COVID-19 variants.
Major Spreaders of the New COVID-19 Variant
Dr. Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said on Sunday that children are the major spreaders of the new COVID-19 variant, according to a published article on the health website ETNT.
Dr. Osterholm said during an interview with FOX News on Sunday that kids or those who are particularly eighth-grade and younger were seen not affected by the pandemic in the past few months. But not, they are becoming the major spreaders of the new COVID-19 variant.
The epidemiologist also noted that around 749 schools had reported new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks in Minnesota. He also said that this phenomenon emerges anywhere and kids are playing a major role in the virus transmission.
Increase of COVID-19 Infections Among the Children
According to a recently published article in Hindustantimes, Michigan's state Department of Health and Human Services reported an increase of 230 percent of new COVID-19 cases among children younger than 10 years old. The HHS also said that this is higher compared to other age groups.
Meanwhile, children and young adults whose ages are between 10 to 19 saw an increase of 227 percent. According to a report from CBS News, much of the increase among children and young adults can be related to the reopening of schools and youth sports.
Moreover, D. Osterholm also said that the new variant of the virus or the B.1.1.7 is 50 to 100 percent more transmissible compared to the previous variant of the virus. This will also cause 50 to 60 percent more severe illnesses compared to the original variant.
The epidemiologist explained that the new variant of COVID-19 tends only to cause mild illness among the children but will have a greater risk and severe illness for those with underlying conditions. He also noted that this should be given attention because children can spread the virus to older adults who can easily get infected and may experience severe complications.
Children Must Get Vaccinated
With the increase of new COVID-19 cases among children, it is important to put them in the frontline to get the vaccine to mitigate the spread of the virus. A recently published article in Scientific American reported that some pharmaceutical companies already started their clinical trials in young children and adolescents.
Clinical studies in teenagers and young children are being conducted by several pharmaceutical firms. Pfizer has already begun testing the vaccine in children aged 12 to 15, and the findings have just been published, indicating that it is very effective in preventing COVID in this age range.
Moderna has been putting the vaccine through its paces on children aged 12 to 17. Both businesses started trials of children aged six months to eleven years old this month. Johnson & Johnson also announced that it would test the vaccine in both small children and teens.