Who is blaming the children?
Suddenly children are portrayed as super spreaders in Swedish media. Who is spreading that rumour? Many of the usual “experts” in virology in Sweden are prepared to confirm the rumour when interviewed by media. But there is no evidence in science supporting it.
WHO has nothing to say: Search results at WHO on December 5th 2021. No results for Children are spreading the virus
Anthony Fauci’s NSAID has nothing to say: NIAID Site Search on December 5th 2021, Search NIAID, Showing results filtered by: "Children are spreading the virus" ---- 0 Results
Not even Reuters has any news on it: No search results match the term “Children are spreading the virus”.
So, who is responsible for the rumour?
Only one year ago, science was unanimous. Children are not much infected. They don’t get severe symptoms and they don’t particularly spread the virus. You remember? That was the reason we were able to keep schools and preschools open in Sweden.
This metastudy summarized the knowledge at that time:
“We are almost 1 year into the COVID-19 pandemic and many countries are still struggling to control outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2. At the time of writing, numerous countries in Europe have been forced into an additional lockdown. However, unlike the first lockdown many countries (including the United Kingdom and Germany) have elected to keep schools open. The data presented in this manuscript suggest that should children become infected at school during this period, they are unlikely to spread SARS-CoV-2 to their cohabiting family members.”
A Meta-analysis on the Role of Children in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Household Transmission Clusters
Yanshan Zhu, Conor J Bloxham, Katina D Hulme, Jane E Sinclair, Zhen Wei Marcus Tong, Lauren E Steele, Ellesandra C Noye, Jiahai Lu, Yao Xia, Keng Yih Chew ... Show more
Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 72, Issue 12, 15 June 2021, Pages e1146–e1153, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1825
Published: 06 December 2020
The latest study from Israel seems to confirm the meta-analysis.
“A study from New South Wales schools in Australia  based on both virus and antibody testing, suggests that children are not the primary drivers of COVID-19 spread in schools or in the community. According to Zimmerman et al.  the importance of children in transmitting the virus remains uncertain. Preliminary results from an ongoing research of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands (RIVM)  show no indications that children younger than 12 years were the first to be infected within the household, and suggest that patients under 20 years play a much smaller role in the spread than adults and the elderly.”
The role of children in the spread of COVID-19: Using household data from Bnei Brak, Israel, to estimate the relative susceptibility and infectivity of children
Itai Dattner, Yair Goldberg, Guy Katriel, Rami Yaari, Nurit Gal, Yoav Miron, Arnona Ziv, Rivka Sheffer, Yoram Hamo, Amit Huppert
Published: February 11, 2021 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008559
A radical change is of course possible in one years’ time. But there is no scientific evidence for it. So, science has not changed. What has?