Graduating seniors on July 17 in Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Children between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the coronavirus at least as effectively as adults do, according to a recently published study out of South Korea.

Why it matters: The findings come amid a heated global debate on reopening schools as the coronavirus pandemic wears on. Experts warn that if schools resume this fall, communities could see clusters of the infection emerge that include children of all ages, citing the study findings.

How it works: South Korean researchers identified 5,706 people who first reported coronavirus symptoms in their households between Jan. 20 and March 27, when schools in the country were closed, according to the New York Times.

  • They traced 59,073 contacts from the original cases.

The researchers found that children in middle and high school were just as likely to infect others as adults.

  • Children younger than 10 years old were around half as likely as adults to spread the virus.

Yes, but: Researchers only traced children who felt sick. The transmission rates for asymptomatic cases remains unknown, and children are less likely than adults to develop symptoms.

The big picture: Several major schools systems in the U.S. have postponed in-person classes for the fall, including in Los Angeles, San Diego and New York City.

  • 71% of U.S. parents surveyed in a recent Axios-Ipsos poll said it would be risky to send their children back to school in the fall, including a slim majority of Republicans and a staggering nine in 10 Black Americans, Axios' Margaret Talev reports.

Read the study.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Health

13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

13 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. Kansas, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming surpassed records from the previous week.

The big picture: The pandemic is getting worse again across the country, and daily coronavirus cases have risen in the U.S. for six straight weeks, according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios. The U.S. reported over 80,000 new cases on both Friday and Saturday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Oct 26, 2020 - Health

The swing states where the pandemic is raging

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, The Cook Political Report; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Several states that are likely to decide which party controls Washington next year have exceptionally large coronavirus outbreaks or are seeing cases spike.

Why it matters: Most voters have already made up their minds. But for those few holdouts, the state of the pandemic could ultimately help them make a decision as they head to the polls — and that's not likely to help President Trump.

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