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Even Asymptomatic People Carry the Coronavirus in High Amounts

Of all the coronavirus’s qualities, perhaps the most surprising has been that seemingly healthy people can spread it to others. This trait has made the virus difficult to contain, and continues to challenge efforts to identify and isolate infected people.

Most of the evidence for asymptomatic spread has been based on observation (a person without symptoms nevertheless sickened others) or elimination (people became ill but could not be connected to anyone with symptoms).

A new study in South Korea, published Thursday in JAMA Internal Medicine, offers more definitive proof that people without symptoms carry just as much virus in their nose, throat and lungs as those with symptoms, and for almost as long.

“It’s important data, that’s for sure,” said Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong who was not involved in the work. “And it does confirm what we’ve suspected for a long

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Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds

It has been a comforting refrain in the national conversation about reopening schools: Young children are mostly spared by the coronavirus and don’t seem to spread it to others, at least not very often.

But on Thursday, a study introduced an unwelcome wrinkle into this smooth narrative.

Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found.

That measurement does not necessarily prove children are passing the virus to others. Still, the findings should influence the debate over reopening schools, several experts said.

“The school situation is so complicated — there are many nuances beyond just the scientific one,” said Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at the Ann

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