‘Children are vulnerable to Covid-19, majority asymptomatic’, says expert
- As the second wave subsides and states are taking precautionary measures to resist a probable third wave, more attention is being paid to Covid-19’s impact on children
Children are vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 but its impact among children is relatively moderate with only 1-2% requiring hospitalisation, R Somasekar, executive board member, Indian academy of Pediatrics (IAP) said during a video conference on Saturday.
"Covid-19 in children is still moderate. Though children are vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the majority of them are asymptomatic and only 1-2 per cent had to go for hospitalisation," news agency ANI said quoting Somasekar.
He urged parents to exercise caution so the virus is not transmitted from adults to children and asked them to look for changes in children's behaviour to identify the symptoms of Covid-19.
Somasekar added that Covid-19’s impact on children so far has only been felt in the state of Karnataka, where as many as 68,635 children under the age of 10 have been infected, starting from the beginning of the pandemic till May 20 of this year, according to state health department data.
He also discussed easy-to-adopt measures in everyday life like physical exercise, avoiding junk food, healthy sleep, wearing masks, following a balanced diet, and age-appropriate vaccination, reported ANI.
As the second wave subsides and states are taking precautionary measures to resist a probable third wave, more attention is being paid to Covid-19’s impact on children. The Union health ministry said in a press conference on May 22 that children can be infected by Covid-19 and can infect others, and that it cannot be said with certainty that infection rates among children are comparatively less than adults.
Instances of children being infected have poured in from all over the world. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on Covid-19’s impact on adolescents found that almost one-third of adolescents hospitalised with Covid-19 in January-March of this year had to be admitted to intensive care units, and 5% needed machines to help them breathe.
In India, Delhi and Maharashtra have started ramping up infrastructure by setting up additional pediatric wards and ICU beds in anticipation of a third wave.