COVID-19 variant spreading quickly in toddlers and babies

While children have been largely spared the most severe symptoms of the COVID-19 infection, the Delta variant is spreading quickly among young people.

A new study by a Canadian public health agency reports that babies and toddlers are more likely to transmit COVID-19 within households, which is at odds with the previous suggestion that young children (under 4 years) rarely transmit to others.

It is generally believed older children and teens, due to their higher degree of social mobility, can bring COVID into the household but younger children are more likely to spread it around.

Researchers attribute this to the difficulty of isolating toddlers and babies who are often comforted more by others when they are sick and have difficulty wearing masks and following other health advice, like keeping their distance.

In Victoria, 20% of recent cases have been in those under 10 years, with the Victorian COVID response Commander Jerome Weimer revealing 112 of the 496 active cases were in children under 10, including an infant.

In the recent outbreaks, approximately a third of the cases in NSW have been in children.

The Canadian study, which was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, does not resolve an ongoing debate over whether infected children are as contagious as adults, and it does not suggest that toddlers are driving the pandemic.

More information here

Canadian Study: JAMA Network