Recovery rate among children highest among all age groups in city: PMC data
The Covid-19 recovery rate of children - between 0 and10 years - is the highest among all age groups as per the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) health department data. Of the 9,082 positive cases reported in the city till June 12, 577 are within the age group of 0-10 and only two deaths have been recorded so far.
A 13-month-old girl from Warje died on May 10 and a two-month-old infant was declared dead on June 7, but reported on Saturday. As per PMC data, the death rate among children is the lowest, however, doctors state that even though they are less likely to be severely affected by the Sars-Cov-2 virus which causes the Covid-19 infection, they are potential carriers and all precautions must be taken to remain uninfected.
Of the 575 Covid-19 infected children (0-10 years of age), 388 - 205 males and 183 females- have been discharged. The remaining 187 -102 males and 85 females- are currently admitted at various hospitals across the city. Of the two deaths, the 13-month-old girl had been admitted to the Sassoon General Hospital on May 4 while the two-month-old baby boy had been admitted to KEM on June 3 and was suffering from anterior mediastinal hemangioma compressing trachea, apart from being Covid-19 positive.
Dr Ramchandra Hankare, PMC health chief, said, “The common ailments seen in kids are malnutrition, anaemia, heart disease, congeniality anomaly, leukaemia, diarrhoea, measles, TB and blood cancer. Although they have a high recovery rate, they are still considered as high risk groups and the treatment is done accordingly.”
“The need to segregate them from other patients is because the treatment or the drug dose is as per the weight. It is true that the mortality rate is low amongst children, however, they are still considered to be high risk groups like the senior citizens,” said Dr Hankare.
The state government directives also clearly states that any person above the age of 65 and below 10 should avoid going out even as restrictions are being relaxed after the lockdown.
Dr Tushar Parikh, consultant, paediatrics and neonatology, Motherhood Hospital, says, “There are multiple reasons why kids are less likely to be severely infected due to Covid-19. Even though children have a weaker immune system than adults, the latter are more likely to have other comorbid conditions and so the immunity is compromised. Secondly, children have been recently vaccinated with the BCG vaccine and this particular vaccine has proven to be helpful in some cases across the globe. Thirdly, since the receptors in kids’ organ cells are ‘less expressed’, so the virus cannot enter the cells and therefore, the damage is not so severe. The viral load is less and the virus does not multiply as much as it multiples in adults. These are just hypothesis and nothing has been proven, but it is helpful to ensure that there is no need to panic among the public.”
Dr Parikh adds that although parents should not panic, they must take care of their kids as much as adults. “The Centre for Disease Control in America has stated that multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflaed and there is no known proof of what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with Covid-19. It is also known MIS-C can be fatal, but most of the children recover with good healthcare.”