Published: 11th August 2022
COVID re-infections plus, foot and mouth disease are being detected in children. An expert weighs in
Infections are mild and are manageable at home. The cases are not very severe, I would not recommend closing schools at this time: Director of Rainbow Children's Hospital
After many waves, COVID-19 is back in action. Although many children are being infected with COVID again, there are other seasonal infections that children are catching, say health experts. As per a report in ANI, experts said that those children who were infected with COVID-19 in January or April are being infected with the virus again but this time, it can be managed at home as the cases are mild. Additionally, seasonal illnesses are also infecting children.
In this regard, Director of Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital, Dr Nitin Verma says, "I have a large number of cases who have had COVID once and are again being infected with the COVID for the second time. So a child who was infected with COVID in January was again infected in April and who had it in April got it again now." If it is a different strain then the protection doesn't last, so many children are getting COVID for the second time, the doctor added.
Giving more details about other infections, Dr Verma says, "COVID has been going on and even now I get almost four to five children who are down and are proven cases of COVID in a day. There is a lot of hand foot and mouth disease, especially among small children going to school. There are a lot of viral fevers which are the beginning cases of Dengue and recently we have started getting cases of swine flu also," he added.
When asked how severe are these infections, Dr Verma said, "Fortunately most of the cases are mild. The severity is only in adults. The advantage for the adults is that they also have taken their vaccine. So their symptoms are a little bit more but the children are having mild to moderate severity and all are being managed in the house itself."
Discussing symptoms and precautions, Dr Verma said that the children are developing a fever, while some of them are suffering from a sore throat. Additionally, a few children are developing rashes and others are showing symptoms of vomiting and loose motion. And "Vaccination helps in preventing the severity of disease, and making sure that you don't land up in the hospital or the ICU and wearing a mask, hand washing and social distancing," he added.
Sharing more details on this, Dr Verma felt that in most cases, children are catching COVID-19 at schools. Therefore, the focus should be on the school environment. Especially making masks mandatory and ensuring that during lunch proper distancing is maintained. This is one way to prevent the spread of COVID in schools, Dr Verma said.
Further, he went on to say, "So, if there is a rapid surge of cases or we are witnessing a rise in COVID cases with severe disease, yes, then it is important to close schools. But even in school, we can devise measures like you can have a hybrid model that half the number of people come so that you can maintain social distancing. But I think given the current situation and the fact that the cases are not very severe, I would not recommend closing schools at this time."