How is the second wave affecting children? How are we supposed to take care of the child if the kid shows Covid symptoms? When is the vaccine for children expected?06 May, 2021 | 13:30
Till last year, we were seeing only 9-10 per cent of overall cases of Covid-infected children but this year, we have seen a huge burst of paediatric patients getting infected. In fact, even new-borns getting infected. The symptoms in children being presented last year were cold, cough, breathlessness and fever but this time, we are seeing symptoms of diarrhoea, skin rashes, conjunctivitis and other kinds of miscellaneous presentations.
The RTPCR, at the best, is approximately 67% to 83% sensitive and hence, it is not a foolproof test. Hence, we have to take a combined picture of clinical symptoms, lab values in case it is required and the RTPCR.
When you see a child with such symptoms the first thing you need to do is isolate the child, get the test done on day 2 or day 3, which is RTPCR, and make sure that the child gets adequate treatment initially just for fever with paracetamol. Consult your local physician and do not start on any antibiotics and other combination drugs at home.
With regard to the vaccine, it is the most important health intervention, which is known to mankind and the only we can arrest the pandemic. The vaccination so far for the pediatric age group have not been licensed in India as yet but the clinical trials have been completed and the mRNA vaccine in the US and Canada are now being approved for below 15 years of age up to 12 and soon, it will be even for a lower age group beyond 6 months of age.
Dr Sanjeev Bagai, Senior Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist and Paediatric Nephrologist