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Children do not transmit COVID-19.

Research shows children can spread the virus while infected. Children are reported to have high infection rates but lower hospital admissions.

Testing children for COVID-19 is being questioned on grounds that invasive tests can be physically and mentally harmful to children since they do not transmit COVID-19 and are at low risk. A similar claim is making rounds on Facebook citing a report written by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) that was published this month after a cross-party between members of parliament (MP).

The MPs discussed how mass testing could mentally and physically harm children. It also quoted one of the co-chairs of the meet who said children do not spread COVID-19.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the transmission of COVID-19 mainly occurs in schools and clusters. Research has shown that children can become infected and spread the virus to other children and adults while they are infectious.

"If community transmission is high and community vaccination level is low, students and staff are more likely to come to school while infectious, and introduce SARS-CoV-2 into the schools. Similar to adults with SARS-CoV-2 infections, children and adolescents can spread SARS-CoV-2 to others when they do not have symptoms or have mild, non-specific symptoms and thus might not know that they are infected and infectious," according to the CDC. The organization said transmission among children was not commonly identified because schools and extracurricular activities around the world were closed or no longer held in-person. "However, outbreaks among adolescents attending camps, sports events, and schools have demonstrated that adolescents can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others," the website says.

Many credible medical institutions have proven that children of all ages can contract and spread COVID-19. Mayo Clinic reported about 18 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and cases are on the rise. More than 5.6 million child cases have been reported since early September 2021. The most common symptom for children to exhibit is fever and cough.

As of February 4, 2022, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported infection rates to be the highest among children. The hospital admission rate in children under five years was higher than people aged about 55 years. "This might be affected by high infection levels among young children as hospital admission data also includes positive cases where COVID-19 was not the main reason for admission," ONS reported.

The World Health Organization released a report in September 2021 that discussed the spread of COVID-19 among children. The report stated that though symptoms might be mild, children may act as virus transmitters within their communities and that it is essential to test and take care of children who show symptoms.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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