Chandigarh: PGIMER finds Covid antibodies in 72.7% children
The final findings of the sero-survey of Chandigarh’s paediatric population, conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), revealed that 72.7% of the children, in the age group of 6 to 18, have acquired natural antibodies against Covid-19.
The sero-survey, which examines how many people in a population have been infected with Covid-19 and recovered, is conducted by using an antibody test, also known as a serology test, that examines if an individual’s immune system has responded to the infection.
PGIMER had started conducting the survey in Chandigarh on June 24. “Of the total 2,695 children tested, natural antibodies were found in 72.7% of them. The results also indicate that the antibody positivity rate in Chandigarh’s sector areas was 67%, followed by 75% in rural and 76% in colony areas,” said PGIMER director Dr Jagat Ram.
Dr Ram added, “Since the children below the age of 18 have not taken the vaccine, the antibodies prevalence shows that all of them were infected and recovered. Also, not many children in this age group were admitted, revealing that the infection rate was either moderate or mild. Also, most of the children were asymptomatic.”
“Looking at the sero-survey results, we can say that children may not be the only population vulnerable to getting infected in the third wave. Children and adults in Chandigarh have the same antibodies level and the virus may infect anyone again,” he further said.
PGIMER starts genome sequencing
To study variants of Covid-19 and infection trends in states, PGIMER has started conducting genome sequencing at hospital premises. Genome sequencing attempts to draw out the complete genetics of viruses.
Giving details, Dr Jagat Ram said, “Initially, we have started testing 40 samples, results of which will be concluded in a week. These results will show us which Coronavirus variant (Alpha, Delta or Delta Plus) is dominant in Chandigarh and other neighbouring states. We will soon expand the sampling capacity.”
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