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 7 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand confirmed Thursday there are 13 local cases linked to the four who tested positive for COVID-19, ending 102 days of no community spread. Auckland locked down Wednesday for 72 hours and the rest of NZ is under lesser restrictions.

By the numbers: Over 751,000 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and another 20.7 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. More than 12.8 million have recovered from the virus.

22 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

America's coronavirus outbreak is slowing down after a summer of explosive growth.

By the numbers: The U.S. is averaging roughly 52,000 new cases per day — still a lot of cases, but about 10.5% fewer than it was averaging last week.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.