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UCSF doctors reveal findings of why some students may be less vulnerable to COVID-19

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Children across the country are returning to school online and in some cases back to the classroom. 

UCSF doctors are revealing what the medical community is learning about why some students may be less vulnerable to COVID-19 than others.

Now that students are beginning the new year the question remains; why do children get COVID-19 infrequently and have a less severe disease? 

For the latest information from the most recent medical studies, we turn to Dr. Naomi Bardach, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

“There is a study that talks about the H2 receptors. They are the entryway, the doorway for COVID-19, for SARS2 into the body. The H2 receptors actually vary by age. Younger students, elementary school-age students have much lower expression than middle and high school students,” Dr. Naomi Bardach said. 

Primary reason she says is the difference in the level of transmission between the two age groups.

“The data shows that younger children don’t seem to transmit as efficiently as the older age group or as adults,” Bardach said. 

In fact, she says the most recent data shows children are more likely to get COVID-19 at home as opposed to being at school. 

The big question: Is it safe for children to physically return to school during the pandemic?

“Would I say open everything now for elementary schools? No, I think we need to do a better job of making sure we have those supports in place. The mask, physical distancing, ventilation, hand hygiene, testing capacity,” Bardach said. 

Dr. Bardach says ultimately to succeed against COVID-19 will take more funding and better testing. 

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