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3 Australian Kids Develop Antibodies Without Testing COVID-19 Positive, Doctors Baffled

In an exceptional case that has left scientists without answers, three Australian kids developed antibodies to tackle COVID-19 but never tested positive.


In an exceptional case that has left scientists without answers, three Australian kids developed antibodies to tackle COVID-19 but never tested positive for the disease. Even though it has been slightly more than a year since the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 was discovered in China, the researchers found the case of children ageing six, seven and nine so peculiar that they studied that specific family and published the results in journal Nature titled, “Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 in three children of parents with symptomatic COVID-19”.

A couple in Australia, Leila Sawenko and Tony Maguire caught the virus in March 2020 and suspected that it was transmitted while they were travelling interstate to attend a friend’s wedding. Since them testing positive for the disease generated concerns over the safety of their three children, the parents chose to get the kids tested too. However, all three results were negative even though they were in close proximity to their COVID-19 positive parents. 

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As per the study, two children were showing mild symptoms but one of them remained entirely asymptomatic. Subsequently, another test was carried out only to get the results negative. As per reports, this went on for a number of weeks but what caught doctors’ attention was that the kids were not testing positive for COVID-19 but the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests of the children were showing antibodies of SARS-CoV-2.

Thus, the study said, “These data indicate that children can mount an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 without virological confirmation of infection, raising the possibility that immunity in children can prevent the establishment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Relying on routine virological and serological testing may not identify exposed children, with implications for epidemiological and clinical studies across the life-span.”

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Report: Children with no symptoms can spread COVID-19

Just in September, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report revealed that children with mild or no symptoms of COVID-19 can spread the novel coronavirus. According to the report, children including one eight-month-old who were infected in a child care facility transmitted the virus to at least 12 people outside the facilities. The data revealed that children can carry the virus from child care settings to their homes. 

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