Over 50% of children in Mumbai have Covid-19 antibodies, shows sero survey
The sero survey was conducted amid fears of a third wave of the coronavirus disease, which is expected to affect children disproportionately. The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation said that sero prevalence has increased from March survey.
A paediatric sero-survey conducted in Mumbai has shown that 51.18% of those below the age of 18 in Mumbai have antibodies against coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The survey was conducted by civic body-run BYL Nair Hospital and Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (KMDL) between April 1 to June 15.
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that 2,176 blood samples were tested for the study. The results showed that the proportion of the pediatric population having antibodies has increased compared to the earlier sero survey, the BMC added.
The civic body said in a release that sero positivity is the highest in the age group 10-14 years - at 53.43 per cent. For children in the age group of 1-4 years, it is 51.04 per cent, while it is 47.33 per cent in the age group of 5 to 9 years, 53.43 per cent in 10 to 14 years, and 51.39 per cent in 15 to 18 years, according to BMC.
In the sero survey conducted in March, the positivity rate was 39.4% in case of those below the age of 18, it added.
The decision to conduct the sero survey among Mumbai's paediatric population was taken amid fears of a third wave of Covid-19, which is anticipated to affect children disproportionately, according to the civic body. A sero survey involves testing of blood serum of a group of people and the findings are used to monitor trends in prevalence.
The BMC said this was the third sero survey conducted since the beginning of the pandemic.
Data from the civic body shows that in April, 4,351 children aged between 0 and 9 years contracted Covid-19 in Mumbai. The number plunged to 3,139 in May as the overall cases reported a decline. Similarly, in April, 12,277 Covid patients were from the 10-19 age group which decreased to 3,139 the next month.
A similar exercise carried out in national capital Delhi in April showed that the population-level prevalence of antibodies in the city was at 56.09%, almost the same as that of the January round.
The report was prepared by researchers from Maulana Azad Medical College.