Future waves of COVID-19 will likely lead to further school closures
Researchers in the UK have warned that given how future waves of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) seem to be inevitable, it is likely that schools will be put under further pressure to close.
The team says the negative impacts school closures could have on children and society at large should be appropriately considered before deciding whether to proceed.
The part that children play in the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) the agent that causes COVID-19 – remains unclear.
However, current evidence suggests that unlike other respiratory viruses, the educational setting only plays a small part in SARS-CoV-2 transmission once control measures have been implemented.
The researchers say pandemic mitigation measures that impact children's well-being should not be implemented unless there is sufficient evidence that this would help.
Matthew Snape (University of Oxford) and Russel Viner (University College London) have expressed their views in an opinion piece recently published in the journal Science.
Children had been expected to be a key component in transmission
The unprecedented and ongoing spread of SARS-CoV-2 has posed significant challenges in terms of managing the care of children and adolescents worldwide.
The widespread closures of schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic reflected the reasonable assumption, given previous outbreaks of respiratory viruses, that children would play a key part in transmission.
However, a growing body of evidence has suggested that this is not necessarily the case.
Unlike the usual pattern of respiratory viral infection, children and adolescents are at a significantly lower risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 ...
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