An analysis of SARS-CoV-2 viral load by patient age

Publication

Preprint

Author(s)

Terry C. Jones, Barbara Mühlemann, Talitha Veith, Marta Zuchowski, Jörg Hofmann, Angela Stein, Anke Edelmann, Victor Max Corman, Christian Drosten

Abstract

Data on viral load, as estimated by real-time RT-PCR threshold cycle values from 3,712 COVID-19 patients were analysed to examine the relationship between patient age and SARS-CoV-2 viral load. Analysis of variance of viral loads in patients of different age categories found no significant difference between any pair of age categories including children. In particular, these data indicate that viral loads in the very young do not differ significantly from those of adults. Based on these results, we have to caution against an unlimited re-opening of schools and kindergartens in the present situation. Children may be as infectious as adults.

Date

April 30, 2020

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