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India’s surge in Covid-19 infections affecting infants | Health

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Pretty, a 5-year-old living in Jaipur, had a fever for four days earlier this month, but her parents didn’t take her to the hospital. Instead, they decided to treat her at home with paracetamol and a sponge bath.

However, her condition persisted, causing diarrhea and respiratory problems. She then took the Covid test and the result was positive.

Similarly, 9-year-old Jagat, who suffers from neuromuscular disease, was admitted to a hospital in Delhi last week, tested positive for Covid, and was put under surveillance for several days after showing signs of cough, cold, and fever.

Although there is no centralized public data on the number of children in India who need hospital care due to coronavirus infection, authorities in several other countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, have announced that the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly. We are recording an increase in hospitalizations for children.

Read again | Omicron will affect everyone, says Anthony Fauci

Omicron’s threat to children

Doctors in various metropolitan cities in South Asian countries have reported an increasing number of Covid infections among children, and many people infected with the virus have fever, cough, chills, diarrhea, and breathing. It indicates symptoms such as systematic problems.

In particular, children with comorbidities and physical illnesses are at risk of hospitalization.

As many as 31 children under the age of 15 have been hospitalized in Delhi alone in the last two weeks, according to officials from the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP).

“Children’s airways are smaller than adults, and this new variant is primarily an upper respiratory tract infection, which can affect more children as the virus spreads. We have to wait. “Respiratory tractian Anish Aria told DW. ..

Shally Awasthi, a pediatric pulmonologist at King George Medical University in Lucknow, noted growing concerns among parents.

“Children infected with Covid are more likely to be anxious in many places. Children’s innate immune system is exposed to this virus and they can lose their benefits,” doctors said. I told DW.

“The virus also seems to be evolving in ways that can interfere with innate protection,” Awasty added.

Doctors say children are vulnerable because it is difficult for them to maintain physical distance and wear masks for extended periods of time.

“I’ve seen children who are Covid positive and suffer from high fever, diarrhea, and respiratory disabilities for the past week. Some people complain of sore throat and vomiting. Fortunately, no hospitalization is required for now. “Pediatrician and kid expert Promira Butani told DW.

Read also | Diabetes, anxiety, MIS-C: Many complications of Covid-19 in children

Rapid increase in new coronavirus infections

Over the past few days, the number of cases of coronavirus has skyrocketed in India, mainly due to the highly contagious variant of Omicron, but hospitalization is low and most people are recovering at home.

The Ministry of Health of India said on Monday that only 5% to 10% of all infected people were hospitalized, compared to 20% to 23% during the previous delta mutant fuel wave.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the country has reported 264,202 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, with a total of 36.58 million.

According to the ministry, the number of deaths from Covid-19 has increased by 315, and the current total death toll is 485,350.

During the first coronavirus wave in India in 2020, researchers at three medical colleges in Delhi investigated the health of 41 Covid-positive children admitted.

They have a multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-), in which almost half of them can inflame various parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. I discovered that I had developed C).

According to the IAP, no scientific study was conducted in India to estimate the proportion of pediatric Covid-19 cases that led to MIS-C.

Smit Ray, a well-known critical care specialist and medical supervisor at the Holy Family Hospital in Delhi, told DW:

“We understand that other hospitals also have children with comorbidities such as leukemia, thalassemia, and neuromuscular disorders in the hospital,” Ray said.

Also read | Prophylactic doses are effective against Delta and Omicron, says Barrat Biotech

More children’s Covid beds than recommended

A report released by the National Institute for Disaster Management (NIDM) in August 2021 recommends the expansion of existing medical facilities for children in the country.

“Existing pediatric care facilities are not robust enough to treat children on a large scale. We need to upgrade our existing Covid facilities and increase the number of beds available by at least 10%.” The NIDM report states.

Many state authorities have reserved more than twice as many Covid-19 hospital beds for children as recommended by experts for fear of lack of preparation.

According to government data, India currently has more than 24,000 pediatric ICU beds, but the Federal Task Force recommends less than 10,000 beds.

Similarly, there are 64,796 non-ICU beds for children, far more than the proposed 27,682.

“Children under the age of 15 are not vaccinated, so the state is scared and ready. We support the state’s decision to have more beds than recommended,” said Jawaharlal Neighbors in the east. Raj Kamal Choudhary, an associate professor at Nehru Medical College and Hospital, said. Bihar told Reuters.

In addition, India has a total of approximately 139,000 Covid-19 ICU beds, compared to the recommended 195,390. The oxygen support beds that were in short supply in the second wave last year increased to nearly 495,000, but still less than the number of 519,000 suggested by experts.

But beyond 1 million, there is no shortage of basic isolation beds.

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