Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

July 6, 2020

The Role of Children in Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A Rapid Review



  • Li et al. conducted a rapid review of 16 studies investigating the role of children in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Two studies reported transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected children (1 with a 3-month-old whose parents developed symptomatic COVID-19 seven days after caring for the infant; 1 with two children who may have contracted COVID-19 from the initial cases at a school in New South Wales). Six studies presented indirect evidence of the potential for SARS-CoV-2 transmission by children, 3 of which found prolonged virus shedding in stool. Two studies reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in school settings. One study was a case report of a child attending classes that did not result in infecting any other pupils or staff.  
  • The authors conclude that evidence is limited and further seroprevalence studies are needed to establish whether children are less frequently infected or less infectious than adults. 

Li et al. (June 29, 2020). The Role of Children in Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A Rapid Review. Journal of Global Health.