While young children are often regarded as “superspreaders” of respiratory germs, studies show they are not driving Covid-19 transmission rates upward. In fact, according to a Brazilian study led by the federally-run Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, children are more likely to be infected by adults, rather than the other way around.
The study investigated the chain of Covid-19 contagion in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Manguinhos between May and September 2020. All children in the study had had contact with contaminated adults prior to showing symptoms of coronavirus infections.
Researchers believe the findings are of utmost importance as cities and states plan ways to reopen schools amid lingering high coronavirus transmission rates among the general Brazilian population.
However, the heads of the study draw a limitation to its conclusions: the study happened before the emergence of the P.1 variant (the so-called Amazon variant). Moreover, it was at a time when Brazilians were more compliant with social distancing guidelines.