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COVID among Children: With XE variant circulating, should you send kids to school? AIIMS chief answers

Of the students in the national capital who have contracted COVID in the past few days, 14 have been admitted to hospital. Meanwhile, 14 children were found to be coronavirus positive on Saturday. (AFP)Premium
Of the students in the national capital who have contracted COVID in the past few days, 14 have been admitted to hospital. Meanwhile, 14 children were found to be coronavirus positive on Saturday. (AFP)

  • There is no need to panic as data from past waves have clearly shown that children, even if they contract COVID-19, have mild illness, AIIMS chief said. 

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With some children getting Covid infection soon after schools reopened, health experts pointed out there is no need to panic as children usually show mild symptoms but stressed that the children who are eligible to get vaccinated against Covid must get the jab. They further urged all to maintain COVID-appropriate behaviour. 

Children show mild COVID symptoms

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria told PTI, "There is no need to panic as data from past waves have clearly shown that children, even if they contract COVID-19, have mild illness and recover spontaneously with just symptomatic treatment."

Therefore, eligible children should take the vaccine. But then even those who have not been vaccinated should not panic as chances of them getting a severe infection is very low, he said.

Of the students in Delhi who have contracted COVID in the past few days, 14 have been admitted to hospital. Meanwhile, 14 children were found to be coronavirus positive in Noida on Saturday. 

COVID: Symptoms and protection for children

Symptoms: Regarding symptoms related to Omicron, the expert said that children who have been infected with Covid show predominantly an upper respiratory tract infection like fever, runny nose, throat pain, body ache and dry cough.

Protection: Since, children are yet to be vaccinated, following proper COVID-appropriate behaviour is paramount like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, sanitizing regularly etc. Also, the adults at home must maintain caution so that they don't bring the virus home.

Even with new variants children continue to be at low risk

Speaking on the current COVID situation, Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, a physician-epidemiologist and public health specialist told PTI, "We need to remember that the (news of) children contracting Covid is getting some attention because schools are open.

It is known that children are as susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection just like adults. But COVID infections among children are mild and mostly asymptomatic, he asserted.

This situation has not altered with the emergence of any subsequent variant. Even with new variants children continue to be at low risk. There is no reason to be concerned about some reports of a few children testing Covid positive in a few schools, the doctor said.

Experts pointed out that maintaining COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is extremely essential. Consistent and appropriate use of masks, implementation of a standard protocol for sanitization and hand washing must be practised by students and school staff alike, they said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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