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Cleveland studies have shown that Omicron is less severe in infants than Delta.health

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Omicron variants of the coronavirus appear to cause less serious illnesses, but are about 15 times more contagious than Delta in children under the age of five. New research From Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

According to researchers, an analysis of 79,000 pediatric COVID-19 cases from across the United States found that visits to the emergency room were reduced by 29% with recent Omicron surges compared to delta waves, and ventilation use was 71%. It has decreased.

Dr. Pamela Davis, one of the authors of the study and a professor of community health at CWRU, said the study also found that the Omicron variant was significantly more contagious than the Delta variant.

Although it seems unlikely that children will develop severe cases, she says the number of new cases is so high that pediatric hospitalizations are increasing.

“There are more children infected, but the percentage of infected children who really get sick is low. On the other hand, when very high percentages are low, many sick children are born in the hospital. There are many challenges to the pediatric medical system, “says Davis.

The Ohio COVID-19 case rate began to rise dramatically at the end of December with the advent of Omicron. Cleveland doctor warned They saw an increase in pediatric COVID-19 patients.

In this study, CWRU professors of biomedical informatics, Davis and Rong Xu, compared similar populations of children in a national database that had never previously been infected with COVID-19.

One group of children under the age of 5 was infected with COVID-19 in the fall of 2021, when the delta variant was the predominant strain in the United States, and another group, Omicron, drove the majority of cases. It was positive at the end of December and the beginning of January.

Researchers examined emergency room visits, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and ventilator utilization in both groups.

Overall, children infected with the Omicron variant reported less serious results, Xu said, but the risk of developing a severe illness was not completely ruled out.

“The infection rate was … about 10 to 15 times higher than that of the delta type, and the reduction in clinical outcome was 30 to 70 percent. So, add this together. [and this is] Why is the number of hospitalizations and other clinical outcomes soaring? “Xu said.

According to Xu, follow-up of these patients is needed to get a complete picture of the outcomes of these patients and to determine if long-distance COVID symptoms due to the Omicron mutation have occurred.

According to Davis, many adults who have otherwise experienced mild COVID-19 cases are experiencing long-term symptoms, so further research is needed to find out how Omicron affects the pediatric population. Is required.

“I’m a little worried about the long COVID-19 and the kids,” Xu added. “This study examined only serious consequences such as hospitalization and ICU visits, but in reality it does not reveal the long-term effects of COVID-19 on children, such as the brain and other body systems.”

Based on the findings, Davis said that children under the age of 5 wear masks in public because this age group is not yet vaccinated, and adults around them wear masks and vaccinations. Said that precautions need to be taken.

“It’s important to understand that this isn’t likely your child will go to the hospital, but as Dr. Xu said, it’s not zero and there are a lot of very very sick children.” Said Davis. “Especially for children [is] Other factors that have weakened immunity or are worried about the effects of COVID, boys, you need to take steps to protect their child. “

This study is being peer reviewed and will be published in a medical journal.

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