The number of cases is currently increasing in all age groups, but especially strongly among children and adolescents. Outbreaks currently affect private households, but increasingly also nurseries and schools.
Berlin (dpa) – According to observations from the Robert Koch Institute, the role of children and adolescents appears to be changing in the spread of the new coronavirus.
The number of Covid-19 cases increased in all age groups, but especially strongly among children and adolescents, according to the latest online status report from the RKI. Outbreaks currently mainly affect private households, but increasingly also nurseries, schools and the professional environment, while the number of outbreaks in retirement and nursing homes has decreased.
In children up to the age of 14, the 7-day incidences have more than doubled nationwide in the past four weeks, according to data from the RKI – to more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents. In addition to the increasing opening of day care centers and schools, more testing may also play a role for paediatricians. The openings are of course an opportunity for parents to have their children tested, said Reinhard Berner, member of the board of the German Association for Pediatrics and Youth Medicine, Berlin’s “Tagesspiegel”. “That just didn’t happen before when the child was in the closet at home and had a cold.”
According to the RKI, the increase in the number of registered infection cases in the age group up to five years is particularly early. This also applies to the data on outbreaks in daycare centers. They got up quickly. A similar development can be seen after the schools opened. The increasing spread of the more transferable variant B.1.1.7 plays a role in this development.
Families and workers should minimize the risk of infection outside of daycare or school and should stay home for 5 to 7 days if there are signs of illness, the health authority advises. If disease occurs in one or more groups, early closure of the facility should be considered to prevent further spread within the nursery and to affected families.
For schools, the RKI continues to recommend splitting larger groups, such as classes and age groups, into smaller groups and limiting them to contacts within this specified group. In addition, the advice remains for an alternation between face-to-face and distance learning and a staggered opening according to age group – with distance learning for older students.
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