CoVID-19 Second Wave and it’s Mutant Strains: Are Kid’s at higher Risk?
The whole of last year went by with the COVID 19 pandemic casting its dark shadows over our lives. Just when we thought the worse was behind us, we seem to be back to square one. This time around, the virus appears to be more infectious due to the various mutants, and it also seems to be infecting children, who seemed relatively immune to the virus initially.
We at Mommywize understand your fears as a parent and the need for transparent and professional information; thus, we arranged a live session with Dr. Raghuram Malliah, the Director of Neonatology at Fortis La Femme Hospital at New Delhi.
Following are the key excerpts from our live session:
We are learning about the virus as we go around dealing with it. Most pandemics have always affected kids. However, COVID-19 has not really affected the kids – no one quite knows the reason for this. As time passes, all viruses adapt and mutate; thus, we have the new strains of the SARS COVID-19 virus.
The new mutants have caused a lot of fear in the minds of the public. Though they are equally infectious/contagious, there is not enough data/evidence to suggest that these mutants cause a more severe form of infection in a person. There is also not much data available which states that people who had been infected initially are being infected with the new strains of the virus.
Most of the kids who catch the virus have been asymptomatic or display a mild form of infection up until now.
We do not have a definitive answer about vaccination, but vaccines should be able to provide some amount of protection against the different strains of the virus.
The virus is here to stay. We as individuals have no other choice but to get used to it and deal with it. We must take precautions and ensure to wear a mask and follow the appropriate covid behavior. We cannot completely remove the human and social elements from a child’s life, and we should probably let the children start going to school in phases. Though not easy, children will have to adjust to wearing masks.
The majority of the kids infected by this virus are asymptomatic or have a very mild form of infection. However, a very small proportion may develop a very rare condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. Though this disease does not have distinctive symptoms, a child looks quite unwell. In such a case, the child may need hospitalization. However, most kids recover from this syndrome, and a handful may require hospitalization.
COVID-19 vaccine trials for children have just begun, and we may get a confirmation regarding the availability of a vaccine for children in about 3-6 months.
With regards to other vaccines, it is essential for all parents to stick to the vaccine schedule for their children, or else we may see an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Most of the social, behavioral issues which have been set in the kids due to the pandemic should ideally resolve once the kids get back to school. You can start getting your child to socialize in small groups while trying to follow appropriate covid behavior.
Many pregnant moms who have tested covid positive have gone on to deliver healthy babies, and as a rule, the babies are not separated from the mother. In fact, the mothers are even allowed to breastfeed their child with a mask. If the mother is COVID positive, the baby usually has the antibodies; however, we do not know how long those antibodies last.
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