Children unlikely to develop severe Covid disease: NTAGI Chief

New Delhi: Children are as susceptible as adults to catching Covid-19 infection as several serosurveys have proved but they are unlikely to develop severe diseases, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) Chairman N.K. Arora said on Monday.

Usually children suffer from sore throat, cough or cold, he said,

“Some children develop fever, which in some cases may go up to 103 degrees. Some also face gastric symptoms. Typically, these symptoms settle in 4-5 days,” said Arora, who is also a paediatric gastroenterologist.

Most hospitalisations, doctors say, are among children suffering from other comorbidities.

On the ratio of children hospitalisation rate, Praveen Kumar, Associate Professor, Paediatrics, Lady Hardinge Medical Institute, said: “In the past few weeks, we have admitted children who have tuberculosis, leukemia, neurological disease, liver abscess. When tested for Covid-19, they were found positive. They were primarily admitted for other conditions, not Covid-19.”

Doctors say that most children need only symptomatic treatment such as paracetamol for fever. Steam inhalation helps in relieving congestion. Any other medicine should be given only under medical supervision, they added.

Doctors believe that there is no need for high radiation tests such as CT scan of the chest for children.

“I recommend that parents should consult a doctor if the child shows some symptoms of Covid-19 so that the physician can advise required investigation and treatments, which may vary from case-to-case,” says Kumar.

“In rare cases, however, children may develop complications requiring hospitalisation. If a child has a persistent fever for more than three days, if he/she is facing difficulty in breathing, has bluish lips, rashes on the skin, feeling confused, seek medical help immediately,” he added.

As many experts have opined that the majority of Covid-positive children are asymptomatic, the parents have started urging the government to reopen schools.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry is also working on a national plan to reopen schools with Covid protocols as schools have remained closed for the longest time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is likely to issue advisory to the states and Union Territories to reopen the schools with Covid protocols amid declining trend of new infected cases.

A UNICEF India report in May 2020 reported that parents of one-third of primary schools and half of the secondary school children noted that staying away from school has adversely impacted the mental and socio-emotional health of their children.

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.