More than half of 1,099 new coronavirus infections in Flanders are thought to have spread between teenagers and their parents, as infection rates for teens in particular increase across all three regions of Belgium.
The demographics most represented in new positive Covid-19 cases are teenagers and adults in their 40s, and a study showed that these two groups frequently infect each other, according to De Standaard.
“You see communicating vessels in two groups that have many contacts: the children at school and during the after-school activities, and the parents at work. Those reinforce each other,” biostatistician Geert Molenberghs told HLN.
Teenagers just recently finished a week of school that was online only, and before that was another week of holidays. One potential explanation for the rise in infections for young people is testing, according to virologist Steven Van Gucht, spokesperson for Sciensano.
“The fact that there are now more cases in children is also because more tests are being carried out,” Van Gucht says, adding that the rise of cases in teenagers only really started in recent weeks, and that those numbers had previously been stable.
Some of the rise in infections is to be expected.
“Even without the more contagious British variety, we would have seen an increase,” Van Gucht said. “We had already predicted that based on the increased number of contacts. More contacts lead to more infections and inevitably hospital admissions.”
Over the past two weeks, 275.6 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, which is a 10% increase compared to the two weeks before.
Hospital admissions have also increased, with numbers 20% higher compared to the week before, according to the latest figures published by the Sciensano public health institute on Tuesday.
The Brussels Times