Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Allergy Clin Immunol


Rationale: Whether children and people with asthma and allergic diseases are at increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection is not known. Neither is their role in household transmission.

Methods: Biweekly nasal sample collections and weekly surveys were conducted to identify incident SARS-CoV-2 infections among children (<13 >years) and teenagers (13-21 years) enrolled in asthma/allergic disease focused cohorts, and their household members, from May 2020-February 2021. Probability of subject/household infections and household transmissions were calculated using time-to-event analyses, and factors associated with infection and transmission risk using regression analyses.

Results: Household (N=1,394) and subject (N=4,142) SARS-CoV-2 infection probability was 25.8% and 14.0%, respectively, and was similar for children (14.0%,CI:8.0-19.6%), teenagers (12.1%,CI:8.2-15.9%), and adults (14.0%,CI:9.5-18.4%). Infections were symptomatic in 24.5% of children, 41.2% of teenagers, and 62.5% of adults. Exposure to both symptomatic (aHR=87.39,CI:58.02-131.63) and asymptomatic (aHR=27.80,CI:17.16–45.03) infected household members was a risk factor for infection. Food allergy was associated with decreased infection risk (aHR=0.50,CI:0.32-0.81), but asthma was not (aHR=1.04,CI:0.73-1.46). Household infection risk was associated with attending in-person school (aHR=1.67,CI:1.09-2.57). Household secondary attack rate was 57.7%. Decreased risk of household transmission was associated with teen age, lower BMI, and lower viral load.

Conclusions: Asthma does not increase risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, while food allergy is protective. SARS-CoV-2 infection risk in children is similar to that of teenagers and adults. SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk and secondary attack rate is much higher than previously estimated in households with children, likely driven by the high frequency of asymptomatic childhood infections.





First Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.