COVID-19: The number of infections in children will be reduced

Three quarters of American children have already been infected with the Corona virus! Within two years of the epidemic, the coronavirus had infected the vast majority of children living in the United States, contrary to what virological testing in this country (PCR and antigen tests) indicated. According to official figures from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 12 million minors had a confirmed infection as of April 12, 2022, roughly 15% of American children. But in reality, the number of infected children would be five times higher and it would be about 75%, according to Prepress (not yet reviewed) Uploaded by CDC on May 4, 2022.

The number of real injuries, especially in children, will be underestimated

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed blood samples collected for whatever reasons across the North American country to look for antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus responsible for Covid-19. These serological tests look for antibodies against the virus’s nucleosomes, which are generated only after infection and not after vaccination targeting only the spike protein of the virus. In order not to bias the analysis, blood samples explicitly taken for serological tests against MERS-CoV were excluded from the study, as well as samples from children under one year of age, because they could still obtain maternal antibodies. In all, just over 70,000 samples from children were analysed.

As expected, the number of infections estimated by this serological analysis is much higher than the number of infections found by PCR tests, because a large proportion of those infected are asymptomatic and thus not tested. For adults, about 57% will have coronavirus antibodies, compared to 25% who will have a positive viral test as of May 15, 2022. And this underestimation will be much greater in children, which is to be expected because they have no more symptoms than adults. Thus, 74% of those under the age of 17 will have antibodies to the coronavirus, while only 15% will have positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. In France, the French public health authority estimates that 80% of people have antibodies to the coronavirus, twice the number of people who had a positive PCR test (see chart). However, there are still no serological data on children in France. But the proportion of positive tests there is similar to that of adults, so it is likely that the proportion of children with antibodies against the Corona virus will be close to that of adults in France.

Schedule. Infections were confirmed by PCR (in blue) and infections estimated by serology (in red), in the United States and France, by age group. Click to view larger. Credit: Nicola Gutierrez C.

To verify that these blood samples did not represent more children with health problems, the researchers conducted a second analysis in which they compared these results with those samples taken only for routine medical examinations. The results of the two groups were comparable.

Bursting in cases after Omicron

The majority of these infections are thought to be due to omicron and its subvariants, which has led to a high prevalence of cases, especially among children. According to an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the proportion of samples containing antibodies to the coronavirus in children increased from about 35% in September 2021 to 74% in February 2022. The increase is mainly concentrated between December 2021 and February 2022. It is possible that School may have played a role in this prevalence, with school-age children having a higher incidence: 77% for children aged 5-11 and 74% for children aged 12-17.

However, the authors point out that their findings may have been underestimated, because it is possible that some children who became infected did not have a detectable amount of antibodies. So it is likely that the proportion of children who crossed paths with the coronavirus is higher than what was observed in this study.

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