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SEARCh Study

SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology And Response in Children (SEARCh)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to pose a grave threat to human health and society.  As of this writing, the United States has experienced >6 million COVID-19 cases and >180,000 deaths.  Fortunately, children are usually spared the worst of this disease; recent U.S. data indicate that children represented 8% of cases, 0.8%-2.9% of hospitalizations, and 0-0.5% of all COVID deaths.  Yet children have suffered substantial indirect harms as a result of the COVID pandemic, with ongoing threats to their well-being through missed immunizations, school and day care closures, and loss of family income.

SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology And Response in Children (SEARCh)  is a prospective longitudinal household cohort study of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and immune response in households with very young children.

The study is particularly interested in documenting formal and informal childcare arrangements at the time of enrollment and throughout the course of the study, as we hypothesize that these interactions could serve as points of introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into households.

SEARCh will focus specifically on children ages 0-5 years, for 3 reasons: 1) other similar studies, will study household transmission in school-aged children, but will generate little data on this younger age group 2) home-based child care settings, which provide care for up to 3 million U.S. children ages 0-5 years, are more likely than schools to remain open or to reopen during the pandemic and could potentially be a source of infection for households with young children 3) rates of hospitalization were highest among children under 2 years of age and among hospitalized children, nearly 70% of those requiring ICU admission were between 0 and 4 years of age.