The number of children infected with COVID-19 increased dramatically in the second wave. Kids who had previously been labeled silent carriers were equally susceptible to the virus this time and displayed a wide range of symptoms. This raised many concerns among parents about the third wave.
With a third COVID-19 wave expected to hit the country, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has advised the Centre and states to step up their preparations to protect children and neonates.
But, will children be affected in the next wave? Here's what we know!
Will children be affected during the third wave?
Given the high likelihood of coronavirus infection among children and the lack of COVID 19 vaccine availability, it is expected that the next third wave of coronavirus would disproportionately affect children and cause severe disease. This has produced a great deal of anxiety and perplexity among the parents.
However, the country's pediatrics association has stated that parents need not be concerned about the COVID 19 infection because it is unlikely to harm children.
According to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, there is no indication that children will be more badly affected in COVID-19's third wave.
In response to a query on the impact of the third wave on children, Dr. Guleria stated that there is no evidence that children will be infected severely or that there would be more instances in the impending COVID-19 wave.
"Data from the first and the second wave shows that children are usually protected from Covid and even if they get it, they have mild infection," he said.
Why kids may not be the major target of COVID 19
According to the data, nearly 90% of COVID-19 infection cases reported in the second wave of coronavirus were either mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic in children. This is because certain receptors that this infectious virus interacts with in order to enter the body and immune system are less expressed.
This lowers the chances of a child having a mild or severe infection. Children, like adults, are susceptible to infection, but the likelihood of a severe infection is low. Although children are not immune to the virus, the consequences are minor. In the second wave of COVID-19 cases, just 3 to 4% of the total number of children were hospitalized.
"Those who floated this theory said that children have so far not been affected, so perhaps they will be most affected in the third wave. But there is so far no evidence that there will be a severe infection in children or there will be more cases in them in the upcoming wave," Mr. Guleria said.
Symptoms of COVID-19 in kids
Parents should not be concerned about the third wave of coronavirus, according to the country's top pediatricians, but taking precautions is necessary to keep your child safe. For teenagers and children under the age of 18, no immunization is currently available, thus they must adhere to COVID guidelines to reduce the risk of infection.
In comparison to the prior mutant variety of the coronavirus, the new mutant form has a higher tendency to infect children. Coronavirus symptoms in children are not limited to the upper respiratory tract, as they are in adults.
Symptoms include high fever, chills, shortness of breath, cough, loss of smell, sore throat, exhaustion, muscle discomfort, and mucocutaneous inflammatory signs in the majority of children. In some circumstances, children exhibit no signs of infection at all.
After-effects of COVID on kids
The Indian Academy of Paediatrics has written to the government, requesting information on how to protect children from the virus if another outbreak occurs. Doctors warned, however, that the side effects of Covid-19 could be more dangerous than the drug itself.
The situation is comparable to that of COVID-19 patients who had mucormycosis, a life-threatening infection, and those who recovered from it, according to Dr. Ravishankar, president of the Indian Association of Paediatricians' Infectious Diseases Section (Karnataka Chapter).
Covid-19 may not have a significant impact on children in the third wave, but other major consequences such as MISC (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome due to Covid) may become more formidable foes. This is a brand-new problem that comes as a side effect of Covid-19. In most cases, children develop this illness after being infected with Covid-19 for five to six weeks.