ORLANDO, Fla. – A new study says older kids spread the coronavirus at a higher rate than younger ones, and size and height could be the reason why.
COVID-19 and kids are top of mind as children get ready to head back to school soon, whatever that may look like. Now a new study out of South Korea published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found children ten and older are more likely to spread coronavirus than children under the age of ten.
“At this point in time, any study we have to look at because this is only a seven-month-old virus and we are learning a lot,” said Dr. Mobeen Rathore, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist with the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
He says there’s a lot of speculation as to why older kids are more likely to spread the virus. It may be as simple as size: bigger kid, bigger cough, bigger spread. It could even be one’s height.
“There are lots of speculations. They’re all good ideas. Yes, perhaps the aerosol goes straight and down, so if you’re shorter, then it doesn’t go up so yes that’s possible,” said Dr. Rathore.
The study didn’t say for sure, but the results were pretty clear. The study monitored 65,000 people. Dr. Rathore says it’s probably not enough to make school decisions based on, but it is something to consider.
“Every study’s going to have flaws. There’s no perfect study. I think the important thing to remember is this is additional info that’s helpful,” said Dr. Rathore.
The study monitored people who were sick from January to March, which is when children in South Korea were staying home from school. The study explains it’s unclear what the rates may be when the school closure ends.