Effect of Covid in children not clear, say doctors

28 December 2022

Hyderabad:  The effect of Covid on children is still relatively
unknown because not many children were affected in the previous waves, said paediatricians while advising parents to continue to take necessary precautions.

While children have rarely been affected in the past few months, infections during previous waves have demonstrated that Covid is often milder in children than in adults, except in rare cases where they have suffered severe infections due to an underlying condition or other factors.

Professor and HOD, Paediatric Department, Niloufer Hospital, Dr T. Usha Rani stated that infections in children were fewer and mild during the first Covid wave. However, the hospital received about 100 children each during the first and second waves of children contracting pneumonia with Covid, because they had some underlying problem such as heart disease or cancer.

Dr. Sivaranjani Santosh, a paediatrician, claimed that during the previous waves, relatively few children were affected by a rare but serious condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which causes inflammation of organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. It was caused about 2-6 weeks after the Covid infection due to antibodies produced by the body during Covid. These rare cases were not seen in infections caused by Omicron variants.

Dr. Santosh believes that requiring children to wear masks at school would help, but that the best way to prevent infections is to not send children with fever, cold, or cough to school. Children handled Covid far better than the elderly or individuals with chronic problems, she noted.

Only a few children who had contracted Covid required hospitalisation during the first wave, observed paediatrician Dr P. Avinash. He advised parents not to administer antibiotics to their children without first consulting a doctor, as this leads to antibiotic resistance, which impedes treatment.



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