Children immune to corona?

According to this source, there are about 9% more Swedes aged 20-29 than aged 0-9. With that and this data on Swedish cases, the rate of corona for kids 0-9 is 4.8% of that of adults aged 20-29. Why? Well, if kids are locked at home, unlike their parents who have to go out and buy groceries or work essential jobs, they won’t catch it, right? But a decent number should be getting infected by their parents. And, in Sweden, schools are not closed:

Sweden is compelling parents to keep sending their children to school — including students with conditions that some evidence suggests may make them more at risk of catching COVID-19 — as part of its policy to avoid a fullscale lockdown in response to the coronavirus.

While school systems in other countries have ceased or greatly restricted in-person learning, Sweden says that anyone under 15 should keep going to school. There are almost no exceptions.

Some parents have refused to comply, sparking a stand-off with state officials.

Perhaps children are catching it, but aren’t being tested for some reason? Why would this be? People tend to have more sympathy for and protective views over children than 20-somethings, so you’d expect a bias in the opposite direction. The most obvious reason is that they aren’t showing symptoms. This is supported by seroprevalence studies, which find that the rate of corona in the 0-19 age group is 7.5%, barely lower than the 7.6% for those aged 20-64. This strongly points to the conclusion that testing is biased and children are not immune to corona to any real extent.

But this does not mean that children will be a major vector in spreading corona. People want to think that the spread is mostly due to asymptomatic carriers. But this crisis has shown that a lot of our fellow humans are just worthless. It may be (mildly) symptomatic carriers all the way.

 

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