Objective Transmissibility of COVID-19 by children in the household is not clear. Herein, we describe children’s role in household transmission of COVID-19.
Design and setting All paediatric COVID-19 index cases and their household members reported from 20 January to 6 April 2020 in South Korea were reviewed. The secondary attack rate (SAR) from child index case to household secondary case was calculated. Epidemiological and clinical findings of child index case-household secondary case pair was assessed.
Results A total of 107 paediatric COVID-19 index cases and 248 of their household members were identified. One pair of paediatric index-secondary household case was identified, giving a household SAR of 0.5% (95% CI 0.0% to 2.6%). The index case was self-quarantined at home after international travel, stayed in her room, but shared a meal table with the secondary case.
Conclusion The SAR from children to household members was low in the setting of social distancing, underscoring the importance of rigorous contact tracing and early isolation in limiting transmission within households.
- health services research
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JK and YJC contributed equally.
Contributors JK and YJC conceptualised and designed the study, drafted the initial manuscript and reviewed and revised the manuscript. JL, YJP and OP designed the epidemiological investigation protocols, collected data, carried out the initial analyses and reviewed and revised the manuscript. MSH and J-HK conceptualised and designed the study, coordinated and critically reviewed the manuscript. EHC conceptualised and designed the study and oversaw the study process.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This investigation was a part of public health response and was not research that was subject to institutional review board approval; written informed consent was not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. The investigation was a part of public health response and all data are protected under the Personal Information Protection Act, enacted 30 September 2011.
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