For Bruno Lina, “Children play a very important role in the spread of the virus”

While children and teachers have been severely affected by the Covid-19 epidemic since the beginning of the school year, the virologist, a member of the scientific council, explains that the Omicron variant is easier to transmit, including from children who were “less sensitive” far away.

While the start of the school year was marked by a record number of classroom closures, the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading from institutions to homes, due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.

“In school as in other places, this virus behaves differently because it is more transmissible,” Bruno Lina, virologist and science board member, explains to BFMTV guest on Friday.

“You need fewer viruses to develop disease. Under those circumstances, people who might have been less susceptible to the virus, like children today, are able to get infected very effectively,” the virologist, member of the scientific council.

Children ‘very actively affected’

Since Monday, 47,453 cases of infection have been announced for students over a four-day period, according to figures released by the Ministry of National Education on Thursday. The record was reached among teachers, with 5,631 positive cases announced.

“Children, like many age groups under the age of 40, are involved in a very important way in the spread of the virus (…) we see it because there is transmission between children and parents, and sometimes transmission foci in schools,” added Bruno Lina.

“It is about 80% more transmissible,” he elaborated on the Omicron variant, recalling that it is able to bypass the immune responses of those with an incomplete vaccination schedule, and that the more it spreads, the higher the infection rate. Bruno Lina insisted that “despite the increased transmissibility, all hygiene measures are effective”.

Thursday, the infection rate exceeded 2,000 in France for the first time. In all, one in 50 people has tested positive for the virus in the past seven days.

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