2-3% Children Who Get Infected With Covid-19 May Need Hospit
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NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V.K. Paul on June 1 said the Covid-19 in children is often asymptomatic and rarely requires hospitalisation, adding the changes in epidemiological dynamics or viral behaviour can, however, change the situation and increase prevalence of infection. Noting that pediatric Covid-19 is gaining our attention, Dr Paul informed that there will be no deficiency in the care and infrastructure required for children who may get infected.

“No undue burden has been placed on pediatric care infrastructure so far. However, it is possible that 2% - 3% of children who get infected may need hospitalization,” he told. Informing that Covid-19 in children may take two forms, Dr Paul said “in one form, symptoms like infection, cough, fever and pneumonia may occur, followed in some cases by hospitalization”.

Talking about the second case, he said a small proportion of children may - after two six weeks of getting Covid which may mostly be asymptomatic - show symptoms like fever, body rash and inflammation of eyes or conjunctivitis, breathing troubles, diarrhoea, vomiting and so on.

“It may not remain restricted like pneumonia affecting lungs. It spreads to various parts of the body. This is called Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. This is a post- Covid symptom. At this time, virus will not be found in the body and RT-PCR test will also come negative. But antibody test will show that the child had been infected by Covid,” he added.

Stating that a National Expert Group has been formed to review the Covid-19 infections in children and approach the pandemic in a renewed way to strengthen the nation’s preparedness, Dr Paul said the Group has examined signs, which were not available four to five months before.

“It has also considered available data, clinical profile, the country's experience, disease dynamics, nature of the virus and the pandemic and has come up with guidelines, which will be publicly released soon,” he added. The NITI Aayog Member (Health) further said: “While we have been systematically reviewing scientific developments in this area, the Group has been formed to take an updated view of the situation.”

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