Photo: Yonhap News
According to a study, the omicron variant is five times more easily transmitted to children and adolescents than previous strains of Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.
A research team led by Chun Jun-young, a specialist in the Department of Internal Medicine at the National Cancer Center in South Korea, and Kim Youngdae, a professor at the College of Statistics at Seoul National University, published the results of the corresponding study on November 23 in the international scientific journal “BMC Medicine.”
The study, using data in South Korea, found that the frequency of Covid-19 spread among 10- to 15-year-olds increased 5.28 times after the spread of the omicron variant compared to before the outbreak of the delta variant. In the 15- to 19-year-old age group, the pace has increased almost fivefold.
In contrast, the difference was about 2-fold for people 50 and over and 1.12-fold for people 75 and over.
Scientists previously assumed that children are more likely to be affected by the Omicron variant. The reason is that Omicron affects the upper airways, not the lungs. Therefore, children can be affected more easily because their upper airways are not fully developed.
The researchers added that additional efforts to vaccinate children could be considered to reduce the impact of the epidemic on society as a whole.