MONDAY, Sept. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Among hospitalized patients without any severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-associated symptoms, children are less likely than adults to test positive for the infection, according to a research letter published online Sept. 14 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Gregorio P. Milani, M.D., from the Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, and colleagues examined the frequency of individuals carrying SARS-CoV-2 among children admitted for noninfectious conditions without SARS-CoV-2-associated symptoms and compared it to the frequency among a similar adult population. Eligible participants were admitted to a hospital in Milan for noninfectious conditions from March 1 to April 30, 2020.

During the study period, 83 children and 131 adults were included. The researchers found that the frequency of being positive was lower for children than adults (1.2 versus 9.2 percent), with an odds ratio of 0.12 for children versus adults. Of the 12 adults who were positive for SARS-CoV-2, 11 were positive at the first swab. In the 48 hours after admission, none of the included individuals developed signs or symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

“In this study, children without symptoms and signs of SARS-CoV-2 carried the virus less frequently than adults, suggesting that their role as facilitators of the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 infection could be reconsidered,” the authors write.

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