Children becoming more vulnerable to Covid: Experts

Children are becoming more vulnerable to Covid either from infected family members, peer groups in educational institutions

Vijayawada: Many children aged below three years and those between eight and 14 are complaining of upper respiratory problems like cold, cough, mild fever, as well as diarrhoea and severe body pain upon contracting Covid-19, doctors said.

Children are becoming more vulnerable to Covid either from infected family members, peer groups in educational institutions or in public places as the daily caseload of Coronavirus has started witnessing a steep surge in the last few days and people are reaching their home towns and villages and going around for shopping during the festival season.

A child specialist from a private hospital in Rajamahendravaram, Dr Y. Guru Prasad said, “Parents are bringing their children suffering with symptoms like cold, cough, mild fever and severe body pains indicating that they have been infected by the Omicron. The symptoms are relatively mild. They are recovering once the viral load subsides.”

Doctors are conducting rapid antigen tests on the children to confirm Covid-19 infection, irrespective of the variant, and are treating them.

State health authorities are expecting the surge of Covid cases among the children to touch 20 per cent by the end of January, from the norm of two to four per cent. Arrangements are being made accordingly to attend to the surge.

Vijayawada Government Hospital pediatrics head Dr N.S. Vithal Rao said, “Though the Coronavirus is spreading fast among the children, the symptoms are relatively mild and there is no major increase in hospital admissions.” He said the hospital has a 16-year-old boy and 25 adults taking treatment for Covid.

Meanwhile, the IMA AP branch has observed that a large number of young students are getting infected with Coronavirus after ignoring Covid-19 norms. The major violation is improper wearing of masks.

IMA Medical Students Network chairman Dr K.S. Karuna Murthy said, “The children should stay put at home. Students in hostels should be made to stay there instead of sending them back home. Otherwise, those who have already contracted the virus will spread it while travelling.”

Indian Academy of Pediatrics officials said that it takes nearly three days after children develop Covid-19 symptoms to accurately measure their viral load.

IAP AP secretary Dr P.S. Pawan Kalyan said, “There are reports of post-Covid symptoms manifesting among children, indicating that they have already got infected and are recovering. In case children develop fever, they should be isolated and hydrated by giving more water to consume so that they can recover fast.”

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