Coronavirus: New COVID strain and its impact on children

Sun Online Desk

13th April, 2021 03:04:53 printer

Coronavirus: New COVID strain and its impact on children


The second wave of coronavirus is causing a surge in cases. Kids, unlike adults, have a lower risk of exposure.

A leading pediatrician, Dr Vipul Malhotra, based out of Indian city Mumbai recently cleared some queries on social media:

Why is the second strain more concerning than the first one for kids?

Until recently, it was largely suspected that kids were not majorly implicated by the risks of COVID. There were only a few documented cases worldwide, and most cases were asymptomatic. However, the second wave of coronavirus has changed the way the virus could impact kids.

The newer COVID strains, such as the double mutant strain identified in India is for the same reason, also increasing the number of symptomatic cases in children below the age of 16.

Are kids of all ages at an increased risk?

As Dr Malhotra stresses, COVID does not see a difference in age. Kids as young as 1 or 16 could become infected by the virus. There have also been instances wherein newborn children have tested positive for coronavirus, having caught the virus from their mothers at the time of birth.

Kids suffering from frail immunity, chronic illnesses may be more susceptible to complications associated with COVID, including MIS-C.

Can kids become super spreaders? Would they infect family members?

Even right now, during the surge in cases, many believe that kids can very much act as super spreaders of the infection, and may even pass on the infection onto adults.

At the time when the virus is increasingly spreading fast, many worry that kids could carry the virus home and infect family members, including grandparents who face a high risk of severity linked to COVID-19.

What are the primary symptoms to watch out for?

A mild fever, for example, could be a classic indication of the disease.

Some kids can also develop symptoms like gastrointestinal infection, body ache, muscle pain, runny eyes. However , they may be on the rarer side.

What should you do if a child tests positive?

Early diagnosis is the key to fighting the infection promptly. If you do suspect your child to display symptoms similar to coronavirus, isolate immediately and get tested. Most kids suffer from mild bouts of coronavirus and usually recover quickly, at home.

Dr Agarwal also advises parents to try double masking, maintain some distance from the infected child (if they aren't positive with the infection). What can keep them safe right now?

Parents and kids must continue to practice basic preventive measures- social distancing, mask mandate and sanitation.

What do we know about the risk of MIS-C right now

Multisystem-Inflammatory Syndrome is a rare complication of COVID that could strike kids after they have recovered from the virus. In many cases, it could also turn fatal.

Right now, the risk of developing MIS-C falls on the lower side. However, it's important that the signs and symptoms are diagnosed in time. The most common signs and symptoms include breathlessness, confusion, body pain, excruciating fatigue

Times of India