COVID-19: Spike in omicron cases in children could lead to another surge in adults, suggest scientists

Scientists warn that returning to school may increase omicron infections in children and lead to another increase in adults.

The latest results from the REACT-1 study, which is based on nearly 100,000 randomized trials across England, show that the infection rate among primary school-age children was 7.8% – and was increasing – during the 5 to 20 January study period. .

In contrast, infection rates were very low and falling among adults, with those over 75 being the least likely to covid at 2.4%.

Contrasting trends between old and young

Contrasting trends meant that the infection in the population was low at first, but has since begun to reach a level that is still at a high rate.

Professor Crystal Donnelly from the WHO Collaborating Center for Infectious Disease Modeling at Oxford University and one of the researchers said it is not clear how long infection rates in children will continue to rise.

“With a child who attends school, this is a potential risk factor for the rest of the family.

“But there has already been a lot of transmission among adults as well as a lot of vaccinations.

“So we will see[high infection rates]play out in children and then potentially people who come into contact with them are also at risk.”

Omicron’s surge in children delays Christmas break

Researchers say children were more likely to be infected with Delta before Christmas than Omicron. But the new version has now spread to all age groups.

Prof Donnelly said the festive holiday disrupted normal behavior patterns, with adults who were working from home, had more social interactions, but were not in school because of fewer children.

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This can also be a reason for delayed growth in children.

“They seem to adjust to adults,” she said.

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How accurate is the data?

The reduction in cases followed recently leveling up like a hockey stick – reflecting the trend of daily reported cases on the government dashboard.

There was concern that the massive testing system and then the change in PCR testing rules had made the daily figures unreliable.

But Professor Paul Elliott, director of the RECT program at Imperial College London, said the infection rates found in the study “match fairly closely”, although recent data is inconclusive.


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