In the race to understand the coronavirus and how it is transmitted, scientists still have much to learn. But two new studies shed some light on two of the biggest question marks: the roles played by young children and aerosols.
Though infected children have not been considered vectors of the virus, a small study released on Thursday found that kids under the age of 5 have as much viral material in their noses and throats as adults, and perhaps as much as 100 times more. The research doesn’t prove that children spread the virus, but experts say it’s highly suggestive that they might.
Aerosols — microscopic droplets that people produce when exhaling or talking — have also captivated scientists, many of whom sounded alarm bells long before the World Health Organization acknowledged this month that the virus can be airborne. A new study looked at how the virus exploded onboard the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship where 700 of the 3,711 passengers and crew members tested positive for the virus in January. The researchers concluded that 60 percent of infections were spread via aerosols.
Yes, the Coronavirus Is in the Air
Linsey C. Marr . New York Times
Coronavirus Briefing . New Your Times