Kari Stefansson, CEO of the Icelandic company deCODE genetics in Reykjavík, studied the spread of COVID-19 in Iceland with Iceland’s Directorate of Health and the National University Hospital. His project has tested 36,500 people; as of this writing, Iceland has 1,801 cases and ten deaths. On a per-capita basis, Iceland ranks near the very top in testing.
In an interview with the Science Museum Group, Stefansson makes an extraordinary statement:
Children under 10 are less likely to get infected than adults and if they get infected, they are less likely to get seriously ill. What is interesting is that even if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults. We have not found a single instance of a child infecting parents.
Other researchers in other countries aren’t quite so sure of that, determining that children can definitely carry the virus. (It may be that children’s immune systems fight the virus better, resulting in less coughing, which reduces the likelihood of infecting someone else.)
If the Icelandic conclusion is accurate, it would be a strong argument for reopening schools, suggesting that children would not be at harm from exposure to each other, and that teachers would be similarly unlikely to catch the virus from their students. (Teachers could catch the virus from other teachers and other adults in the school.)