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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

New research: How infectiousness levels vary with patients’ age

The research, which has been published in Science, provides a clear idea of the infectiousness of the disease in different age groups and at different levels of disease severity.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 1, 2021 7:22:39 am
A Covid-19 patient in New Delhi (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

A team of researchers has analysed the PCR samples of more than 25,000 persons with Covid-19, and determined the viral loads of each individual sample and used their results to estimate levels of infectiousness.

The research, which has been published in Science, provides a clear idea of the infectiousness of the disease in different age groups and at different levels of disease severity.

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The researchers looked for significant differences in their data, specifically in relation to different age groups, disease severity and virus variants.

No notable differences in viral load levels were recorded among SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals aged between 20 and 65, with the average throat swab sample containing approximately 2.5 million copies of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

Viral loads were found to be lowest in very young children (0 to 5 years). Levels started at approximately 800,000 copies of the viral genome, increased with age, and approached adult levels in older children and adolescents.

The researchers estimated levels of infectivity in the youngest children (0 to 5 years) to be at approximately 80% of that found in adults.

Source: Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin

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