Worrisome—UK 🇬🇧 data shows suddenly higher #COVID19 positivity % in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (where #B117 highly dominant) in children ages 5-9, in both boys and girls, sustained each week over 4 consecutive weeks. Ages 0-4 positivity also increasing. Israel 🇮🇱 has also seen kids case trend.
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2) As noted by @dgurdasani1, this is all despite these data really underestimating infection in children (as they are based on symptom based testing). And positivity rates appear highest in early year settings (fully open) & primary schools (20% attendance).
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3) Dr @dgurdasani1 believe it is related to schools in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿.
Replying to @dgurdasani1
Infection among children closely tracks school openings and closures (as we saw even during october half term), and level of attendance (trends in secondary schools where attendance is much lower are different). Again in line with substantial transmission occurring in schools.
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4) Cases are dropping because of general lockdown restrictions across UK, but the notably higher positivity in children 5-9 especially stands out—kids positivity didn’t used to stand out last year at all.
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5) Israel 🇮🇱 is seeing a sharp rise in the number of children and teens getting #COVID19, where #B117 rising. >50,000 children have been diagnosed with #COVID19 since start of Jan, many more than Israel saw in any month during the first or second waves. m.jpost.com/health-science/w…
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6) “We got a letter from the Israeli Association of Pediatrics that says they are very worried about the rate of disease in younger students,” Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told The Jerusalem Post. “This is something we did not witness in previous waves of corona.”
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7) Instead of around 29% of new cases coming from children and teens, as in the second wave, now they are around 40% of cases, Public Health Services head Sharon Alroy-Preis said in the Knesset on Monday. The greatest spike was in children between ages of **6 and 9** (matches 🇬🇧)
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8) “according to Cyrille Cohen, head of Bar-Ilan University’s immunotherapy laboratory, the numbers seem to be rising. one hypothesis is that it is tied to the British 🇬🇧 mutation #B117, which has spread rapidly across Israel.”
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9) “The British variant is more contagious, so it increases the chances of infection in children,” Cohen told the Post.”

Feb 12, 2021 · 6:18 PM UTC · Twitter for iPhone

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10) I’ve alluded to this trend in kids 0-9 before over a month ago in the #B117 data... while kids overall lower risk than adults, #B117 has yielded greater increase in attack rate in kids 0-9 than in those over age 10, compared to the older common strain.
Replying to @DrEricDing
3) Furthermore, in genetic tests of b117, the B117 has 47.5% higher attack rate vs common virus type among kids age 0-9! Compare that w/ only 39.5% higher for B117 among adults. Two separate sets of data—same thing—with both pointing to higher relative increase in young kids.
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11) I’ll also leave this Italy 🇮🇹 village outbreak story here.
Holy cow: 10% of the village of Corzano 🇮🇹 has the #B117 variant—10% of all residents! 60% of cases are kids from kindergarten and primary school, other 40% are their parents, says the mayor. Schools in the village now closed. ansa.it/amp/lombardia/notizi…
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12) Dr @dgurdasani1 thinks it’s likely schools.... she points out that in the initial lockdown, kids positivity dropped the same as adults, but then diverged from adults because of gradual school reopenings. It’s a good point.
Replying to @dgurdasani1
The real differences are likely to be greater, given that much of infection is asymptomatic in children. Also worth noting the steep drop initially after school closure, which then plateaus to become more gradual after school re-openings.
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13) On the bright side, lockdowns do work. Can we sustain the case drop once all schools are reopen is the question. Maybe we can afford some small school related transmission while keeping overall transmission low enough while aiming for general suppression. 🤔
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14) Here are the school attendance rates in the UK. The sharp parallel drop of kids & adults occurred during the winter break. But once schools reopened, then the positivity started diverging between kids and adults. We can’t delude ourselves.
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15) Notably absent from new CDC guidance was ventilation. In one short paragraph, CDC suggested schools open windows & doors to increase circulation, but said they should not be “if doing so poses a safety risk or a health risk.” #COVID19 nytimes.com/2021/02/12/healt…
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16) This 🧵 makes the clear case that school transmission of #COVID19 does occur, & increases when cases levels rise—which then further drives school transmission. It’s a deep analytical 🧵 but that’s the Bottomline. Schools are not impervious to risk.
Replying to @SarahDRasmussen
However, once child prevalence surpasses a certain critical threshold, a phase transition of sorts occurs. Suddenly, the majority of child infection isn’t coming from homes; it’s from pauci-/pre-/a-symptomatic kids at school, and we see relative increase trends like this: 8/
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17) New outbreaks now seen in both Austria and Denmark too. Austrian town’s outbreak.
Sudden Kindergarten outbreak—a once small #COVID19 outbreak in an Austrian🇦🇹 kindergarten exploded from 10 cases Monday to suddenly *32 cases* by Wed—20 cases in kids, 12 adults & caregivers. (Article in German—translation below). HT @hiems_mollis. noen.at/melk/coronavirus-kin…
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18) Denmark city outbreak of #B117.
Outbreak of 69 #COVID19 cases in 2 schools, plus 20 at daycare centers in one Danish city—all #B117. “Something going on with the infection of [🇬🇧 variant] #B117 among children that we have not seen with the old coronavirus” says an epidemiologist. 🧵 cphpost.dk/?p=122479
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