Children were the least affected group in the first two waves of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, but now they are increasingly infected with Omicron variants in the third wave. Experts say more data from India is needed to determine whether the infection rate in India has increased. Speaking at a workshop organised by AIIMS on managing children with Covid-19, Professor Dr Rakesh Lodha, Director of Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at AIIMS Delhi, said there are many possible reasons why children are often affected – the more contagious Omicron being the main one.
In addition to this, lowered alerts, fully unlocked states, mass gatherings, non-observance of distancing, and masks are among the reasons for the vulnerability.
Dr Lodha said there had not been a significant increase in the number of infected children, adding that the absolute number was proportional to the increase in the number of cases.
So far, children are somewhat protected from Covid because there are fewer children with comorbidities. In addition, children respond to the virus in better ways. However, Omicron has become measles-like with an R-value of around 10 (global). “Omicron is clearly more contagious and runs counter to the value of R nought, which gives an idea of how contagious it is, how easily it spreads. Various groups estimate it to be more contagious than delta and the original virus. It is believed to be more than 7, some groups Estimates are even closer to 10 or more. In this case, it’s close to measles, a highly contagious disease that we see in children,” Loha said.
Complete News Source : Hindustan Times