Mumbai: Number of kids admitted to ICU on rise amid adenovirus cases | Representational image /PTI Photo

Mumbai: Doctors in the city have seen more than 60 children in a month diagnosed with either adenovirus or Influenza-A, indicating a rise in adenovirus cases for the first time mainly due to reduced antibody levels in children due to Covid. Additionally, there are ICU admissions due to adenovirus.

Dr Soonu Udani, medical director, NH SRCC Children's Hospital, said they have seen many children who need ventilator support, invasive or non-invasive. “The common complaints are breathlessness, cough and fever. Pneumonia-like symptoms also last days. In addition to H3N2, we are seeing ICU admissions due to adenovirus,” he said.

As per the state health department, H3N2 – a subtype of Influenza-A – appears to cause more hospitalisations than other influenza subtypes. Of the currently hospitalised patients showing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARI), about 92% had a fever, 86% had cough, 27% suffered from breathlessness, and 16% with wheezing, as per the ICMR surveillance. Additionally, 16% had clinical signs of pneumonia and 6% had seizures. About 10% of the SARI patients needed oxygen while 7% required ICU care.

Dr Jesal Sheth, senior consultant (paediatrics) at Fortis Hospital (Mulund) said they are seeing more children suffering from adenoviruscompared to influenza A. Moreover children with multiple flu or viruses have also been diagnosed complaining of high fever, dehydration, breathlessness and others problems.

According to Dr Sheth, the ratio of adenovirus to influenza infections is 7:3. However, only one patient needed to be admitted as his fever level was above 103. “Adenovirus is in circulation due to which numbers are increasing. People have been masking-up since the outbreak of the pandemic and this has led to a drop in antibody levels. As a result, they are falling sick,” she said.

A senior paediatrician from a private hospital said they are reporting about 3-4 admissions daily in the past few weeks and have also reported confirmed cases of H3N2 or Influenza A, adenovirus and also bacterial streptococcus pneumonia in most of the children.

“We are confirming these cases through our in-house laboratory. The most common symptoms are high-grade fever, cough, breathing troubles and pneumonia. In the case of these children, fever takes about 4-5 days to be controlled, while cough can last for about 10-14 days. We are also reporting admissions of patients as young as six months,” he said.

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