The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2022 , Vol 64 , Num 1
Prevalence of COVID-19 infection in asymptomatic school children
Hümeyra Aslaner 1 ,Ali Ramazan Benli 2 ,Erhan Şimşek 3 ,Zübeyde Korkmaz 4
1 Department of Family Medicine, Kayseri City Hospital, Kayseri
2 Department of Family Medicine, Karabük University Faculty of Medicine, Karabük
3 Department of Family Medicine, Kayseri Felahiye Public Hospital, Kayseri
4 Department of Nursing, Nuh Naci Yazgan University Faculty of Health Sciences, Kayseri, Turkey
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.4608 Background. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in children and the association of this with education have started. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in asymptomatic school children within a limited period while face-to-face education continued.

Methods. This is a descriptive and retrospective study. Screening was carried out in the schools in the three major districts of the metropolitan municipality when face-to-face education was practiced. COVID-19 RT-PCR swab samples were collected from 4,658 students from 46 schools at preschool, primary, secondary, and high school levels by using the stratified sampling method. Screening results were retrospectively analyzed by the researchers.

Results. The mean age of the children included in the study was 10.6±3.2 (5-17). Only 46 students` COVID-19 RT-PCR results were positive; the positivity rate was higher in male students than in female students (p>0.05); the students living in the third region had a higher positivity rate than the other students, there was a statistical difference between them (p<0.001); there were no positive cases in 26 (56.7%) schools, and the spreader rate of the school children was 0.98%.

Conclusions. We determined in the study that the prevalence of COVID-19 infection was not high in asymptomatic school children in the period when schools were open. This may play a role in directing the education and training during the pandemic. Keywords : COVID-19, prevalence, school children, education

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