More children Covid positive in second wave
City hospitals are now witnessing an increase in the number of children turning Covid-19 positive, with severe symptoms.
As reported earlier, unlike the first wave, which lasted from August to October 2020, the second wave which began in Pune from mid-February 202, is seeing more children being admitted to the hospitals with severe symptoms.
The children in the family turn out to be super-spreaders, infecting senior citizens. An increased number of children are also reported ending up on a ventilator.
Dr Pradeep Suryavanshi, a paediatrician at three different hospitals in the city, said, “Children are definitely acting as super spreaders. In this wave, we are seeing more children positive. At the three hospitals where I am consulting, there are at least 29 children who need intensive or critical care. We can see the impact on their brain and convulsions, which was not seen in the earlier wave. We have had three babies who tested positive for a rapid antigen test, which shows a high infection rate.”
He added, “We have seen in many cases that children spread the infection to their grandparents since children are less symptomatic, but more infective, which means that children might have a simple runny nose or fever. Even neonatal babies need intensive care, which is babies aged less than a month. We will need more neonatal ICU beds and medications which are scarce now. Many hospitals have even converted their paediatric wards into adult wards, but as the cases among children increase, we may run short of beds for children.”
Dr Aarti Kinikar who heads the paediatric ward in Sassoon hospital, said, “We are surely seeing more children turn out positive and even the symptoms are severe. The symptoms are also serious including cardiac symptoms like high pulse rate and also diarrhoea. Since the beginning of the pandemic we have had only four deaths among children, which was mainly among those who had birth defects or comorbidities. However, as of now at two or three children need intensive care. If any adult turns out to be positive in the family they must wear a mask, because children do not wear a mask. Even if the kids are asymptomatic they should not be allowed to mingle with the grandparents as they may be asymptomatic carriers and infect the elders who are highly vulnerable.”