Lure Children’s Hospital Chicago Research Breakthrough: Young Children May have 100X More COVID-19 Virus than Older Children & Adults

Aug 1, 2020 | Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, COVID-19, Mann Children’s Research Institute, News, Popular Posts

Lure Children’s Hospital Chicago Research Breakthrough Young Children May have 100X More COVD-19 Virus than Older Children & Adults

Researchers from the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital have uncovered that children younger than five years of age with mild to moderate COVID-19 appear to have far greater levels of genetic material for the virus in the nasal passages as do older children and adults. These findings contradict other findings that show children are infected at lower rates than elder children or adults. But the new findings out of Chicago definitely raise serious concern about the role children may have in spreading this pathogen. That’s because the Chicago researchers have found that children may have 100 times more of the virus, specifically in the nose.

Published last week in the journal of JAMA Pediatrics, the study was led by Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, a pediatric infectious specialist at Lurie’s Children’s, and a team of researchers. They investigated 145 cases of mild to moderate SARS-CoV-2 cases within the first several days of symptom onset, reported the hospital’s press release.

Medical Community Underestimates Impact on Children

The study revealed that perhaps the youngest children may be the key transmitters of the disease. This insight may have been missed, or under-recognized given the rapid and sustained closure of schools and daycare during the pandemic. Taylor Heald-Sargent commented, “We found that children under 5 with COVID-19 have a higher viral load than older children and adults, which may suggest greater transmission, as we see respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV.” The doctor suggested, “This has important public health implications, especially during discussions on the safety of reopening schools and daycare.”

Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago

The research arm of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, is conducted via the Stanley Mann Children’s Research Institute. The Manne Research Institute focuses on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring healthier futures through the relentless pursuit of knowledge.

Lurie Children’s a Special Provider

Lurie Children’s ranks as one of the nation’s top children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training group for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year the hospital served more than 220,000 children from 48 states and 49 countries.  

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, MD Public Infectious Disease Fellow

Other authors can be seen at the study source.

Call to Action: What are the implications for public health policy here? What about in regards to school reopenings?


  1. Walt

    Any teacher with years of primary grade experience would have told you this. No big surprise. The only real surprise was how this disease supposedly did not act like every other known virus, according to the god like research community.Young kids in a school environment are Petri dishes. They are super spreaders. Schools and daycares have to remain closed. The human population has known this forever. We did not need a study to tell or confirm this. Oh pardon me, the politicians did to cover their butts.
    Big pharma blocking helpful available medications, researchers spewing garbage or kneecapping promising medications because of the lack of the god like randomized trial. Big pharma execs making millions on stock options for producing useless medications with the backing of paid for politicians and there politicized agencies, can anyone think FDA and Remdesivir. Politicians poo pooing the use of masks which have only been used by humans for centuries when battling plagues. The only people who trust the medical research community and the drug approval system at this point are the people who gain their livelihood from it. The world population will have a lot of questions for our medical and political systems when this is over. They better have some good answeres. It was a new virus, and we tried our best will not cut it on this one. Keep up the good work TrialSite, making people aware of these advancements.

  2. ML

    Excellent comment, Walt. I too, knew from the beginning that this claim about children not being very affected or able to transmit the virus, was pure bunkum. I was an NP caring for teachers and school staff and their families for years. Teachers new to their profession, were routinely ill much of most winters. After teaching for years, most teachers and aids, did quite well and rarely sickened due to having had just about every virus in the book over many years.

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