Once public schools and private schools restart face-to-face classes, the greatest risk of contagion of covid-19 is represented by the adults present in these institutions and not by the underage students who attend them, according to Víctor Ramos, president of the College of Surgeons of Puerto Rico.
“Just like any person, a baby can infect other people, although it has been shown that they carry a lower viral load,” said Ramos. “The latest studies by the CDC and in Barcelona establish that most of the broadcasts in schools were from educators to adults, or from staff to staff. Not through children because they tend to have a lower viral load ”, he pointed out.
According to the doctor, children do not usually have a severe illness, and the main cause of admission of children to hospitals “is usually high fever, they do not eat, they become dehydrated … and – as with any virus – dehydration it is that they are admitted ”. Ramos pointed out that children – if they are infected – carry a lower viral load, so there is a tendency for them to be asymptomatic or the disease is mild.
For Ramos, opening schools is easy. He stressed that the difficult thing will be to keep them open because he anticipated that several cases will be registered. In turn, Ramos linked keeping schools open to strict compliance with the protocol that has been designed to minimize infections.
“The staff of the Department of Education and the Scientific Coalition made a very strict protocol. If there are more than two cases in a room, it must be closed … if there are more than two rooms, the school must be closed. And that is going to happen, just like you hear that a Cesco, a police station, any business closes … well, that is also going to happen with the schools. And that is so because the schools usually reflect the level of contagion that exists in the community ”, anticipated Ramos.
The president of the College of Physicians stressed that the risk of contagion in children does not reside in the children themselves, but in the adults around them. The statistics of contagion of covid-19 among those under 21 years of age is 15 to 20 percent of the total cases reported for adults, depending on the month.
“For example, children don’t guide. So if you see a child in the mall running up and down, it was because his family took him … the same if you see him in a restaurant, if you see him on a trip … the children do not buy tickets “, Ramos pointed out.
In the case of adolescents, Ramos made a distinction because they “can go out, go to their friends’ houses and even guide… something that a small child cannot do”.