Coronavirus | Over 50% of children in Mumbai exposed to coronavirus

Serosurvey conducted between April and June 2021

June 28, 2021 06:49 pm | Updated 06:49 pm IST - Mumbai

Children play during rain at Shivaji Park in Mumbai.

Children play during rain at Shivaji Park in Mumbai.

The serosurvey of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children in Mumbai has found that more than 50% of the paediatric population in a health care settings had antibodies to COVID-19.

Across 24 wards of Mumbai, total of 2,176 blood samples were collected from pathology laboratories including 1,283 from the Aapli Chikitsa Network and Nair Hospital of BMC, and 893 from a network of two private labs. These blood samples were made available from the samples received in laboratories for various medical tests. This sero-survey was conducted during April 1, 2021 to June 15, 2021.

The overall seropositivity among children is 51.18% — 54.36% in samples from public sector hospitals and 47.03% in samples from private labs.

According to the survey, seropositivity was highest in the age group 10-14 years i. e. 53.43%. Taking age into consideration, the rate among 1 to 4 year-olds is 51.04%, 47.33% among 5 to 9 year-olds, 53.43% among 10 to 14 year-olds and 51.39%for 15 to 18 year-olds. The overall seropositivity rate of 1 to 18 years is 51.18%.

An official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said there is a notable increase in seropositivity in the paediatric population compared to serosurvey 3 conducted in March 2021, which showed a seropositivity of 39.4% in the target age group. This “indicates that a significant proportion of children accessing the healthcare services were exposed to the virus during the second wave of COVID-19,” said the official.

The study has also suggested targeted health education and awareness about COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. It should include the use of social media platforms including cartoon advertisements and jingles.

The survey was conducted by BYL Nair Hospital and Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory of BMC in the background of imminent danger of the third wave to the paediatric population.

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