Amid the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases among kids and concerns over children getting infected with coronavirus as schools reopened, health experts said there was no need to panic they mostly have mild illnesses and recover with just symptomatic treatment.
They, however, stressed that the children who are eligible to get vaccinated against Covid must get the jab.
The health experts said consistent and appropriate use of masks, implementation of a standard protocol for sanitisation and hand washing are the key pillars of Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Dr. Krishan Chugh, Principal Director & HOD, Paediatrics, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram shared some possible reasons for more sickness in school-going children.
- Exposure to infections which was almost nil during the lockdown/school closure has increased with the opening of schools and other activities; including parties, sports and outings.
- Regular exposure of children to small doses of the viruses and bacteria from their school and playmates during their close and prolonged interactions results in the development of the disease or subclinical infection. These lead to the formation of antibodies and cellular immunity. Both of these protect them from subsequent infections and disease. During the lockdown and stay at home periods, their body didn’t get an opportunity to go through this process at a natural pace.
- Omicron and XE variants of the coronavirus are circulating in the community. Although highly infectious they don’t cause severe disease/hospitalisation, justifying the opening of schools and businesses. But a high number of covid cases is to be expected for the next few days.
- Water and foodborne infections areas it is very common in the summer months. Many children suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting and food poisoning during this period of the year, generally due to poor food hygiene.
- Children in the lockdown period have been consuming junk food, so easily available through the apps like swiggy and zomato. This combined with a lack of physical activity has further reduced their immunity.
- Disturbance in regular and adequate sleep has also reduced the immunity of the children.