A young family from the suburbs of US’ Nashville swabs their noses twice a month, seeking answers to some of the most vexing questions about the coronavirus. And so do many families in as many as 11 cities of the United States.
This regime is a part of a DIY study they are a part of.
Evidence from the US, China and Europe have not been enough to study how the novel coronavirus impacts and effects on young children. To this end, some 2,000 families in 11 US cities got enrolled in the said DIY experiment, pulled from participants in previous government research.
These 6,000 people have no in-person contact with the researchers. Testing supplies are mailed to their homes.
They collect their own nasal swabs for COVID-19 tests, and less often blood and stool samples. The specimens are mailed to the study organisers. Participants get text messages asking about symptoms and reminding them to test and they fill out questionnaires.
The study could help determine the safety of in-class education during the pandemic.
The results, however, are only expected by year’s end.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 175,000 cases have been confirmed in those aged 17 and under, accounting for less than 10% of all confirmed cases. But the true number is likely much higher because many kids have silent infections or only vague symptoms and don’t get tested.
The family study is also investigating whether children with asthma or allergies might have some protection against COVID-19.