Are schools future coronavirus clusters? A question Jean-François Delfraissy tried to answer on Monday August 24, 2020 with our peers at Franceinfo: “There will be children who will contaminate one another, and there will be a few teachers contaminating one another. And we will manage” the President of the Scientific Committee said. He went on: “We are now able to test, and we must endeavor on isolating (positive cases), but we must get into this risk-managing strategy. […] There is no zero risk” he added.
The day before, on Sunday August 23, the Santé publique France agency tried to be reassuring in a report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control the health agency ordered, explaining that “less than 5% of Covid-19 cases in Europe are found in people under 18 years old” as the JDD said.
So far, a few clusters have been found in schools… And for good reason, as the Journal du Dimanche says, between June 1 and August 16, only “141 children under 10 years old have been hospitalized out of over 8,600 hospitalizations”. “It is very unlikely, if barrier gestures are maintained, that schools are propagation environments […] more likely than professional or leisure environments” the report reads.
A hypothesis head of Nantes university hospital pediatrics head and Société française de pédiatrie secretary general Christèle Gras-Le Guen seems to agree with, relayed by our peers at JDD: “They are no contaminators. In most cases, adults contaminate them. To avoid clusters, they must be dramatically protected” she said.
Same call for head of the Syndicat national des pédiatres français Brigitte Virey who gives as an example a study focusing on 1,500 children who have been tested after suspicion of Covid. “Among those who had no proven contact case – the pediatrician says – 1% were positive. In those who had one case in their entourage, 10% were so” she said. It is more worrying, and as the fall flue is coming and its symptoms being similar, you must stay vigilant.
This is what professor Delfraissy reports as well: “transmission we find at school is not from children to teachers or parents, but rather from teachers or parents to children” he said. So, what can we do in case there is an infection case in a school? In the event there is a proven case, “the class must be closed” the President of the Scientific Committee said. He added: “We will consider closing the school, it will depend on the overall environment around the school”. He concluded: “as soon as there is a suspected case within a class, in a household, or in a teacher who has been in contact, yes, we shall very widely test”.