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COVID-19 third wave unlikely to affect children: study

It is unlikely that a possible third wave of COVID-19, due to the prevailing variant of the virus, would disproportionately affect children, according to the interim result of a multicentre study by researchers at AIIMS, Delhi and other hospitals.

The study is yet to be peer reviewed and has appeared in pre-print on an online platform.

“SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity rate among children was high and were comparable to the adult population. Hence, it is unlikely that any future third wave by the prevailing COVID-19 variant would disproportionately affect children two years or older,” the interim report read.

The report has published interim data of serological prevalence (% of people with antibodies) among children aged between 2 to 17 years along with a comparison with people of 18 year of age and above.

“The data collection period was from March 15, 2021 to June 10, 2021. Total available data was of 4,509 participants of which <18 years were 700 and ≥18 years was 3,809. The seroprevalence was 55.7% in the <18 years age group and 63.5% in the ≥ 18 year age group. There was no statistically significant difference in prevalence between adult and children,” the report said.

This is part of an ongoing multicentric COVID-19 seroprevalence study under the WHO.

“Resettlement colony in urban area of South Delhi which have a very congested population had a very high [highest reported yet in any sero-assessment] seroprevalence of 74.7% even before the second wave. 0-18 age group [school-going] age group in South Delhi had as much seroprevalence (73.9%) as the >18 years (74.8%). These areas in Delhi and NCR (Faridabad) may have higher seroprevalence after the intense second wave. Probably, these levels of seroprevalence” may be protective against any ‘third wave’,” said Puneet Misra, Professor of Community Medicine, AIIMS, who is one of the authors of the study.

“Gorakhpur rural has a very high seroprevalence of 87.9% [2-18 years with 80.6% and above 18 years with 90.3%]. Hopefully these levels should ward off any “third wave”. The accelerated peaks and precipitous decline in COVID-19 cases in Both Delhi and Uttar Pradesh could be explained partially by these findings. Overall, more than half [62.3%] of the rural population surveyed showed evidence of past infection,” Dr. Misra said.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 7:46:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-third-wave-unlikely-to-affect-children-study/article34844133.ece

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