Barcelona hospital to study Covid-19 transmission between children and family members
Investigation hopes to provide data that will help decision-making when reopening schools
A study is underway to investigate how coronavirus spreads among families where children have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
The project, led by Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, aims to study the dynamics of infection between young people under the age of 18 and the adults that live with them.
Pere Soler, head of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases unit at the hospital says he hopes the study will provide data that will prove useful for decision-making in schools.
Results will be broken down into various age groups as those behind the investigation believe there may be significant differences.
Some 50 hospitals and primary care centers will participate in the study.
Given the discrepancies in similar studies from other countries, Dr. Soler said it was important to study the situation in Catalonia.
"The idea of the project is to have our own data on the transmission of coronavirus from children. It is a topic that has been discussed a lot. We have gone from thinking that they are huge spreaders, to having many doubts about their role, with the tendency to think that they are not a great source of infection, although there is discordant data from different countries," he explained at a press conference on Wednesday.
"We thought it was essential to have data at the country level to hand over to the public authorities to make decisions, especially about children going back to school," he added.
The study, supported by the Catalan Society of Pediatrics and Catalonia's Secretary of Public Health, will be organized in two parts.
The first will look at the families, some 150 in total, of children who were diagnosed with Covid-19 between mid-March and the end of May. The second part of the project will look at children being diagnosed now and in the coming weeks.
The head of Preventive Medicine at Vall d'Hebron, Dr. Magda Campins, stressed that with a return to the classroom approaching it was "essential to understand how the coronavirus transmission chain between children and adults works."