According to Dr Subash Rao, Consultant Pediatrician at Reliance Hospital and Fortis Hospital, Navi Mumbai, the Covid-19 virus has undergone a double mutation (changes in genetic structure), and the current strain is highly infecting children.
“The second wave of Covid is known to affect the children much more than in the first wave. Also, a reverse trend is being seen that is – children develop symptoms first, and then adults are getting it from them. The difference is while in the first wave most of the children were asymptomatic, in the second wave they are coming with symptoms like fever, cold, dry cough, loose motions, vomiting, not feeding well, fatigue, loss of appetite, among other common symptoms. Few may also have breathing difficulties and rashes like any other viral fever,” he said.
“Another reason of rising infection among children is increasing exposure due to playing outdoor, travelling and inappropriate behaviour and laxity,” adds Dr Rao.
If a child is showing symptoms of Covid-19 infection, an RT PCR test should be done by the second day. “Don’t delay or hesitate out of fear to do the test. Early diagnosis helps in early treatment. In case of an asymptomatic child with both parents Covid-19 positive, there is no need for a test but they should be kept in home quarantine for 14 days,” he said.
“Keep in mind your child would already be harbouring the virus even though they have no symptoms. They can innocently pass on the infection to the elders where you have sent them. Hence it would be wiser to keep them in your home along with you quarantined for 14 days. If possible isolate the index (affected) patient in a separate room and other members who are unaffected can remain in the same house,” he further added.
“They can be monitored at home after consulting the pediatrician. Watch for red flag and danger signs of breathlessness, fever beyond five days, poor oral intake, rash among other symptoms,” he said.
At present there is no approval to use the Covid vaccine on children, hence people should sanitize hands, wear a mask when going out and practice social distancing. “Adults are role models for children. As parents what you practice your kids will copy the same,” he concluded.
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