Professor Lipsitch predicted between 40 and 70 percent of the planet’s population could fall ill with the coronavirus.
He said: “It is, but an important qualifier is that I expect 40 to 70 percent of adults to be infected.
“We just don’t understand whether children are getting infected at low rates or just not showing very strong symptoms.
“So I don’t want to make assumptions about children until we know more.
“That number also assumes that we don’t put in place effective, long-term countermeasures, like social distancing for months at a time which, I think, is a fair assumption.