This week, a one-month-old boy and two eight-month-old female babies have succumbed to Covid, a worrying number as the variant is considered to be mild for kids.
However, experts say that the severity could be due to a cocktail of viruses affecting kids. Dr Rakshay Shetty (Head,
We are seeing a lot of children coming with breathlessness, fever, and pneumonia, and many of them have reasons apart from Covid. We are seeing an outbreak of flu and adenovirus; they die because of severe pneumonia. It is likely that other viruses present with Covid, the children are becoming sick. What we are seeing now is adenovirus and flu making children sick.”
Dr Sujatha Thyagarajan, Senior Consultant - Pediatrics & Pediatric Intensive care, stated that the pattern of covid-19 in children has been typically mild over the last three waves, and deaths occurred in children with comorbidities during the second wave. Dr Thyagarajan observed critical care admissions due to
However, there is a high probability that it can be fatal in children with underlying chronic diseases like heart disease, liver diseases, kidney diseases, malnutrition, and children with immune deficiency. She added that the deaths noted should not be assumed as another big scare.
Following WHO guidelines such as washing hands after coughing, sneezing, or touching objects, covering the mouth and nose, disposing of used tissue immediately, and washing hands with soap were recommended. Dr Satwik also suggested cleaning the child’s toys at least once a day, avoiding close contact with anyone who has cold, fever, or flu-like symptoms, engaging children in indoor activities, avoiding crowded areas, providing nutritious meals with plenty of water, and seeking medical care early if the child has a fever, cough, or breathing difficulty. Breastfeeding can be continued if the mother develops covid-19 disease, but she should take precautions such as using a mask and washing hands before and after contact with the child.