in this new pandemic wave, children have also been affected by infections, also occupying hospital rooms, ICUs, even with fatal deaths, which has sounded the alarms and accelerated vaccinations.
Although Covid does not generally manifest itself in serious forms in minors, more and more children of early ages are being admitted to hospitals. Italy has registered, in the last week, some 400 hospitalizations of children between the ages of 5 and 11, almost half of the 834 admitted under the age of 19.
In the United States, they confirmed a growing number of infections and hospitalizations due to the omicron variant in the younger population. It registers 672 children hospitalized daily during the first week of January, the highest number of minors confined in medical centers since the pandemic began, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many of the children affected, as in other countries, are not old enough to be vaccinated. What is happening with the children? Why is the disease complicated? What are the symptoms?
WHAT ARE THE MOST FREQUENT SYMPTOMS IN CHILDREN?
Most children infected with the omicron variant have:
- Runny nose.
- Throat pain.
- low-grade fever
- strong cough
WHAT COMPLICATIONS CAN COVID-19 HAVE IN CHILDREN?
The complications that minors can have are:
- Multisystem inflammatory syndrome: require hospitalization in intensive care.
- Myocarditis or pericarditis.
- Persistent Covid.
WHICH CHILDREN ARE MOST AT RISK OF DEVELOPING SEVERE COVID-19?
Children who already have a respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, may be considered higher risk. Symptoms that should be alarming:
- Persistent high fever.
- Difficulty breathing.
- persistent cough
IS THE COVID-19 VACCINE FOR CHILDREN SAFE?
Pharmacovigilance data from the United States, where more than nine million children between the ages of 5 and 11 have received a dose of the vaccine, confirm that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Of 8.7 million doses administered between November 3 and December 19, only 0.05% adverse events were reported, and almost none of the cases were serious. There were 11 myocarditis, seven of which were not serious and four remain under observation.
WHY IS THE ÓMICRON VARIANT MORE CONTAGIOUS?
Omicron is 70 times more contagious than other variants rated as of concern by the WHO. This is because their mutations allow the virus to enter human cells more easily and become more contagious. It’s like, for example, when we make a new key and it costs more to open the door, but with use, the key gets finer. The objective is to infect more to become endogenous pathogens, that is, to stay with us forever.
WHAT PREVENTIVE MEASURES SHOULD WE TAKE TO AVOID GETTING INFECTED BY ÓMICRON?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most effective measures that everyone can take to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is to keep a distance of at least one meter from other people, wear a well-fitting mask, open windows to ventilate rooms, avoid crowded or poorly ventilated places, keep hands clean, cough and sneeze into the bend of the elbow or into a disposable handkerchief, and get vaccinated when their turn comes .