Covid-19: Does the virus circulate in nurseries?

Contaminations in nurseries were reduced in nurseries which received “essential” personnel during the first confinement, according to a French study.

While the main places of Covid-19 contamination divide and have been the subject of numerous studies for a year, nothing has been proven to date. What about contamination in children and more particularly in toddlers, in nurseries?

A team of pediatric physicians from Jean-Verdier Hospital (AP-HP) and researchers from Avicenne Hospital (AP-HP), Sorbonne and Inserm have studied the role of very young children in transmission of Covid-19.

Strengthening barrier measures is effective

Carried out from June 4 to July 3, 2020, the study COVIDOCRECHE made it possible to assess the frequency of the presence of antibodies against the coronavirus (seroprevalence) in children accommodated in crèches that remained open to accommodate the children of caregivers, during the 1is confinement.

The results were published in the journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, February 8, 2021. What are they? The virus circulated little in nurseries during the first confinement. Out of 327 children and 197 staff in 22 nurseries, only 14 children and 14 staff were found to be positive.

This low rate of contamination can be explained by the strict measures put in place during this confinement: reception of small groups of children and reinforcement of barrier gestures.

A more in-depth analysis of the medical data on HIV-positive children also suggests that it is more plausible that the children were infected within their families rather than in nurseries.

If the sanitary measures are well respected, this type of care does not seem to be responsible for an over-risk for children and the staff who supervise them.

An American study draws the same conclusions

A recent American study of Case Western Reserve University moreover supports these remarks. It took place from August 15 to November 20 in Ohio and also shows a low rate of Covid-19 contamination in nurseries.

These studies remain to be compared with others as to the place of very young children in the circulation of the coronavirus, especially since the French study was carried out under the specific conditions of the first confinement.

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