The mystery is how COVID-19 spreads within households and why some family members develop the viral infections and others do not. Researchers are asking is there a way to predict who will be symptomatic or asymptomatic, how long will someone remain infectious, are asymptomatic and symptomatic cases equally able to transmit infections, and are there super spreaders within families with children?
Researchers at the Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles https:// chla.org as well as in Nicaragua and New Zealand are enrolling 250-325 households in a new study designed to answer these questions. The study was awarded $7.1 million by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) https://www.niaid.nih.gov within NIH.
Other U.S hospitals to take part under the NIAID grant include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Michigan, University of Rochester, Washington University, Institute of Environmental Science & Research Limited, and the Sustainable Sciences Institute.
Investigators want to explore how differences in family members’ immune systems may dictate transmission patterns. Pia Pannaraj, MD leading the U.S study at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, reports “As for COVID-19, we don’t yet know the role children play in transmission within a family.”
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles received $1.2 million of the total NIAID funding for the U.S portion of the study and plans to enroll up to 100 households for a 2 year study . At least one member in each household must have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. The study spans all ages from newborns to seniors.