INTERESTING results from a Covid-19 research study of children at summer camps in one of Spain’s landmark cities.
CHILDREN and teenagers attending 22 summer camps in Barcelona were monitored in recent months as part of a study to determine the level of contagion compared to the general population
The study tracked 1,900 of those in attendance of the camps and results showed that contagion rates were up to six times lower.
In what has been the biggest study of transmission data among children and teenagers, researchers did point out that despite the study also trying to determine how schools would be impacted when they return, that all of the summer camps’ carried out the majority of their activities in the open air, unlike regular school classes.
The groups were also limited to 10 children rather than the class sizes of 20, which has been established for the upcoming school year.
Over a five weeks period a group of hospital personnel travelled to the camp every week to collect saliva samples for a PCR test.
“For the five weeks that the investigation lasted, we were able to detect 39 newly appeared index cases,” of which 30 were found in children, Iolanda Jordan, the head researcher, explained. “These children had 253 contacts, who were boys and girls from their respective cohabitation groups. From these, there were only 12 contagions, which is 4.7 per cent and an R reproduction rate of 0.3. This is a low R number, six times lower than the one that we have found among the general population, which ranges from 1.7 to 2,” Jordan added, in reference to the same neighbourhoods in which the summer camps were taking place.
Another significant discovery, Jordan continued, is that “children under the age of 12 have the same transmission capacity as those aged 13 to 17.”
Jordan explained, “this data give us some clues ahead of the reopening of schools.”
She concluded by adding, “if we do things with a series of strategies, the impact of opening schools will probably be low [on the general incidence of the virus] and we will be able to open them safely and with transmission rates that are as low as possible.”