Australia case reveals children developed virus antibodies despite not testing positive: The susceptibility of children to coronavirus and their response to infection have been the subject of study since the beginning of the pandemic to understand the role they play in the spread.
At first, it seems that minors are less infected and mostly undergo the disease completely asymptomatic, although they are exposed to the disease.
"We have gone from thinking that children were protected to knowing that they do get infected," Quique Bassat, pediatrician and ICREA researcher at ISGlobal, a center promoted by Fundación La Caixa, explained to Business Insider Spain.
"During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have mainly examined symptomatic subjects, so we have come to the erroneous conclusion that the vast majority of infected people are adults. However, our results show that children are not protected against this virus, " says research published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Bassat is cautious in determining whether the age of minors influences their susceptibility to the virus. "There are several studies that ensure that children under 10 are infected less," he acknowledges.
Now, a case in Australia is serving for scientists to adopt new lines of research around the susceptibility of minors, according to Science Alert.
A family of five passed coronavirus tests when parents started showing symptoms. The results of the parents were positive while the three children (aged between 5 and 9 years) were negative.
Australia case reveals children developed virus antibodies
The measures of social distancing and isolation at home were impossible for the family to maintain, so the minors were regularly tested to find out if the continuous exposure to the virus ended up causing disease.
However, the tests returned a negative result repeatedly, even though the two older children had shown mild symptoms. The researchers then included the family in a study by analyzing samples of their blood, saliva, feces and urine, and taking nose and throat samples every two to three days.
The surprise came when tests showed that the children had developed antibodies against the coronavirus and the youngest of the family, aged five and who never showed symptoms, had a stronger antibody response.
The mechanisms of children's immune response are not yet fully understood, but figuring out how and why their immune responses were activated (in the absence of confirmed cases of the virus) could shed much light on children's susceptibility to COVID-19 more broadly.
"This study is kind of a first step to really examine in depth the immune system of children and see what components may be responding to the virus," Shidan Tosif, pediatrician and author of the study, tells The Age.
"The fact that these children have been able to get rid of the virus and without even showing a positive test result, suggests that they have some level of their immune system that is able to respond and deal effectively with the virus, without ever getting very sick."
The researchers ' theory is that the children did get infected, but their immune response was able to inactivate the replication of the virus.
The fact that PCR did not detect the virus in children is also a cause for research for the authors, who say that "highlights the limitations of the sensitivity of nasopharyngeal PCR and serology in the current diagnosis in children".
Australia case reveals children developed virus antibodies
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Displace, the startup that is transforming the real estate sector thanks to technology and advice from Google
Not every day you buy or sell your home.
In addition to this important transaction, there are other aspects that make the process a complicated task. Therefore, it may be convenient to go to professionals in the sector to help you throughout the process making it much easier.
The novelty is that it is no longer necessary to go to the real estate agency of a lifetime, but now you can do this whole process through the internet with greater transparency and for less money.
At least this is what they assure in displace, a startup that is transforming the real estate sector through a platform that improves the service of buying and selling homes making it more transparent, safe and economical using technology.
"Typically, traditional real estate companies do not connect the buyer and the seller. These do not talk to each other until the time of writing and, in most cases, speaking at the notary they realize that the traditional real estate has charged both a percentage. There are many times things that were not taken into account," explains Blanca Vidal, co-founder and CMO of Displace, in an interview with Business Insider Spain.
Displace schedules the visits and it is the seller who teaches the home to the buyer, and not the realtor, which makes the experience closer and more transparent. "The owner will know his home and the neighborhood much better, for better or worse," Vidal says.
Together with Valentín Cuervas-Mons (CEO) and Enrique Corona (COO), Vidal founded in 2017 this platform that is characterized by not asking for exclusivity –the seller can continue selling your home through the channels you want– and that works for you without charging until the sale occurs. In this sense, it charges a fixed amount: 2.990 euros –regardless of the price of the house– per transaction in case the sale is formalized through them. Real estate companies charge between 3% and 6% on the sale price of the property, which usually means a much higher amount, according to Vidal.
"This concept has not been in Spain for more than 3 years. It's hard to convince, but there's everything. There are people who are more predisposed to try something new and there are people who are more reluctant. After all, it is one of the main purchases and sales that you will make in your life," says Vidal.
Vidal has been one of the 11 selected to be part of 'Immersion: women Founders', the European program for women founders of Google for Startups.
The program offers mentoring and acceleration to female founders, as well as access to a Google advisor and weekly workshops and skills development sessions for 12 weeks. With a focus on leadership, networking and development, this program, which is being carried out for the first time at a pan-European level, aims to support a global community of women and provide them with resources to boost the growth of their respective companies.
"It is being very enriching because I am meeting women of all kinds, but we are all united by the same thing and we share among ourselves the challenges and problems that we have. That inspires you and helps you make decisions, " he says. "The workshops have dealt with topics such as data privacy, how to include diversity within your company or human resources and sales issues. It's been very dynamic."
Women, like other minorities, are underrepresented in the technological environment and have more limited access to capital, advice, talent and networking opportunities. The gender gap is especially worrying, given that only 20% of startup founders are women, and 92% of funding in 2019 went to male-only founding teams, according to Google.
It's not the first time that displace has learned from the tech giant. The startup was already part of the last edition of Google for Startups Residency during the first half of 2020, thanks to which it has incorporated new technologies such as DialogFlow, an artificial intelligence project from Google that has allowed it to improve its processes and operations.
Although Displace is currently only in Spain, the businesswoman points out that participating in Google's programs is a speaker to make themselves known to other investors in the world.
Despite the crisis, they say they have been able to continue growing, which Vidal says is an immense market where there is a lot of capacity for growth. During these months marked by the pandemic, the platform has noticed a tendency to buy houses with a terrace or garden, with more than 80 square meters and on the outskirts.
Although they can not give figures, their turnover has grown by 10% compared to the end of 2019.
Previously, they have raised around 700,000 euros in 3 funding rounds led by the Cabiedes & Partners Fund.
In addition, in its objectives for the coming months is to internationalize the company and continue to grow its business.
They are now at break even- "a positive sign for us"– and are preparing a funding round for next year to accelerate their expansion. "We want to continue strengthening in Spain, but we would also like to internationalize, starting with Italy and Portugal," he concludes.