8-Month-Old Among Kids Who Caught COVID-19 at Childcare Facilities And Spread It to Relatives, Study Shows

Children who contracted coronavirus at day care facilities and day camps spread it to their relatives, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Between April 1 and July 10, 17 daycare facilities and day camps for children had confirmed COVID-19 cases in Salt Lake County, Utah. Researchers focused on three of those outbreaks for the study.

The children at the three facilities ranged in age from a few months old to 16, with a median age of about 7.

The study, published Friday, concluded that 12 children caught coronavirus at the facilities, and spread it to at least 12 (26 percent) of the 46 relatives they came in contact with at home.

Nine of the children had mild symptoms, but three were asymptomatic, the researchers found. However, among the infected children who had had no symptoms, two still managed to transmit the virus.

A mother who is presumed to have caught the virus from her asymptomatic child was hospitalized with COVID-19, the study found.

In one of the facilities, an 8-month-old infant with mild symptoms, including a fever, runny nose and fatigue, spread coronavirus to both parents.

Investigators established that it was an infected adult worker who introduced the virus to the facility in two of the outbreaks.

"Staff members at two of the facilities had a household contact with confirmed or probable COVID-19 and went to work while their household contact was symptomatic," the study said. "These household contacts represented the primary cases in their respective outbreaks."

The researchers said while COVID-19 is less severe in children than it is in adults, kids can play a role in spreading the virus.

"The infected children exposed at these three facilities had mild to no symptoms," the study said. "Two of three asymptomatic children likely transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to their parents and possibly to their teachers."

They added that having testing and timely results available and ensuring contacts of confirmed cases are tested, regardless of whether they show symptoms, can help prevent transmission.

They also noted that CDC guidance recommends the use of face masks, particularly among staff members, along with hand washing, frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces.

Previous research has found that children are less likely than adults to be infected by coronavirus. They are also less likely to become seriously ill when they do get infected.

But a recent study found that children infected with the coronavirus were found to carry high levels of the germ and get different symptoms than adults, meaning they could spread the virus more than previously thought.

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A student receives a temperature check before leaving the car to enter STAR Eco Station Tutoring & Enrichment Center on September 2 in Culver City, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images