Surajit Khanna | Risk of COVID-19 in Children

Surajit Khanna | Risk of COVID-19 in Children

Dr Surajit Khanna, shed light on children who are at risk of COVID-19, including the symptoms and how to protect them. 

An advocate for children’s safety issues and current champion of Voice of the kids, Dr Surajit Khanna, shed light on children who are at risk of COVID 19, including the symptoms and how to protect them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has started infecting a group that previously it seems the virus had ignored. Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome is a condition that has afflicted 120+ Children in New York. By all accounts that number will continue to grow.

It has afflicted so many children that on May 6th the New York State Department of Health sent out a Health Advisory to all Hospitals, Health Care Providers/Facilities, Clinical Laboratories, and Local Health Departments, advising them of this silent epidemic. The advisory detailed the signs and symptoms of the syndrome (persistent fever, inflammation, rashes, red eyes, etc.) many of which it shares with Kawasaki Disease (childhood disease). The advisory also advises pediatricians/clinicians who recognize the symptoms to immediately refer the patient to critical care (hospital).

The majority of children who present with the syndrome have tested positive for either COVID-19 or antibodies associated with COVID-19.

Moreover, children with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of illness of COVID-19 and tend to show severe complications. These chronic medical conditions include immune suppression, cardiovascular disease, seizures, or chronic lung disease (asthma included).

Further, due to the lockdown in most countries, immunization of young children has stopped in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus in many low and middle-income countries. Vaccines function by triggering the immune system to wade off bouts of certain disease and immunization is an effective way of protecting younger ones from this disease. “with the postponement of this program, children are more susceptible to measles, whooping cough, mumps, chickenpox, including COVID 19. While countries are striving to combat the spread of COVID 19, they might have to deal with issues such as measles outbreak if care is not taken,” says Surajit Khanna.

What are the symptoms of COVID 19 in children?

Dr. Surajit Khanna says “numerous reports suggest that the virus seems to have milder or asymptomatic symptoms in children than in adult or older people. This means that countries need to get aggressive in children testing as they can have a major impact on the transmission of the virus”. Some of the mild symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as cough, runny nose, and fever Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.

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