Children form 8.9% of COVID cases in district

Health workers engaged to disinfect offices, public spaces and homes are a busy lot. Above, a couple of workers on their way to a job in Kochi.   | Photo Credit: H.Vibhu

Of the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the district, 8.9% or 300 patients, are children below the age of 10, going by data till Tuesday morning from the district information office.

“The exposure of children in this age group to the virus has been kept low since they are unlikely to go out, though they might contract it from family members in the age group of 20 to 50, in which the maximum number of cases are concentrated,” said Dr. N. K. Kuttappan, District Medical Officer.

An infant from Ayavana, who was 20 days old when tested in August, had recovered with the parents at a first-line treatment centre without any major problems, said a health official.

When the Adlux convention centre had been functioning as a first-line treatment centre, children had been admitted to the facility as well, though they were mostly asymptomatic, said a doctor at the centre.

“Coronavirus seems to be soft on children. They usually have only mild symptoms. One theory for this is that their immune system is not very well developed, which means that the overreaction of the immune system to the virus is absent. In adults, damage to the other organs is usually due to a hyper-reactive immune system,” said Dr. A. Fathahudeen, pulmonologist and nodal officer for COVID-19 care at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kalamassery.

But, children seem to have the highest density of viral load in their nose, throat and upper airway, making them a highly potential source of infection to others, Dr. Fathahudeen said.

While such an instance has not been seen in the district yet, when severe instances of the disease do occur in children, as seen globally, they develop multi system inflammation syndrome, which directly affects their blood vessels, and they could come in a shock-like state that could be fatal, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 6:24:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/children-form-89-of-covid-cases-in-district/article32671521.ece

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