Lifestyle

WA doctors to test children in bid to uncover why they might not contract virus

WA doctors to test children in bid to uncover why they might not contract virus
Western Australian doctors are leading the way in coronavirus research as they shift the focus onto children.
The Perth Children's Hospital Foundation has funded two projects to test youngsters who have not shown any symptoms.
Acting head of the Department of Infectious Diseases Doctor Asha Bowen says the search is on to find out why many don't contract the deadly disease.
The Perth Children's Hospital Foundation has funded two projects to test youngsters who have not shown any symptoms. (9News)
Over the next six months, 50 random blood samples will be taken from children every month and kids having ear, nose or throat surgery will be swabbed.
It's in addition to WA's DETECT program where almost 18,500 people have been tested and DETECT schools has swabbed up to 4500 children. All are in the clear.
"We're going to use samples on the COVID test to find out if there was any evidence that the children may have had the disease in the past without us knowing," Dr Bowen explains.
The program will also look at why more adults are contracting the deadly virus compared to children.
Over the next six months, 50 random blood samples will be taken from children every month and kids having ear, nose or throat surgery will be swabbed. (9News)
Last year, 40 per cent of WA influenza cases were children, compared to COVID-19 infections where four per cent were kids.
"It will also prepare us for answering questions around the vaccine, when it does become available, what proportion might need to be vaccinated," Dr Bowen says.
In WA, 14 children have been infected with some showing no symptoms, sparking concerns of the threat of community spread.
It's in addition to WA's DETECT program where almost 18,500 people have been tested and DETECT schools has swabbed up to 4500 children. (9News)
"What we're seeing in Victoria at the moment is a rise in case numbers and it's possible that something like that can happen in WA."
There's hope outcomes of the research will help with the treatment of future viruses and pandemics.
In WA, 14 children have been infected with some showing no symptoms, sparking concerns of the threat of community spread. (9News)
"This is a really important study which the world will be looking to, to really get some insight into how it impacts on children," Health Minister Roger Cook says.
Researchers hope to have find out some results beginning of next year.