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Study: Kids infected at day care spread coronavirus at home

NEW YORK (AP) — Children who caught the coronavirus at day cares and a day camp spread it to their relatives, according to a new report that underscores that kids can bring the germ home and infect others.

Scientists already know children can spread the virus. But the study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “definitively indicates — in a way that previous studies have struggled to do — the potential for transmission to family members,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher.

The findings don’t mean that schools and child-care programs need to close, but it does confirm that the virus can spread within those places and then be brought home by kids. So, masks, disinfection and social distancing are needed. And people who work in such facilities have to be careful and get tested if they think they may be infected, experts said.

Earlier research from the U.S., China and Europe has found that children are less likely than adults to be infected by the virus and are less likely to become seriously ill when they do get sick.

There also was data suggesting that young children don’t spread the virus very often, though older kids are believed to spread it as easily as adults.

In the new study, researchers from Utah and the CDC focused on three outbreaks in Salt Lake City child care facilities between April and July. Two were child-care programs for toddlers, and the other was a camp for older kids. The average age of kids at all three programs was about 7.

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