The role of children and adolescents in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus within family clusters: A large population study from Oman

J Infect Public Health. 2021 Nov;14(11):1590-1594. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2021.09.008. Epub 2021 Sep 15.


Background: In Oman, many extended families tend to live in one household. Some families can include 20-30 individuals with the majority of them being children. This study investigates the role of children in spreading SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 within family clusters in Oman.

Methods: This retrospective study includes data of 1026 SARS-CoV-2 positive children (≤18 years) collected from the national surveillance database for COVID-19 between 1 February 2020 and 30 May 2020.

Results: We included 1026 patients. Most, 842 were Omani (82%), 52% male, and 28.5% asymptomatic. Close to the half of symptomatic 419 (40%), patients presented with fever associated with other respiratory symptoms. Fifty pediatric patients were index cases who transmitted the virus to 107 patients in total (86 adults and 21 children) with a mode of 1. There is no statistical significance of all studied risk factors in the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus including age, gender, and cycle threshold (CT) value.

Conclusions: According to this study, children are not to be considered a significant driver of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Oman.

Keywords: COVID-19; Children; Cycle threshold (CT) utility; Family cluster; Infection; National study clinical features; Outbreaks; Outcome; SARS-2 transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oman / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2*