The Delta strain stalks children around the world

The number of nCoV infections in children is increasing globally because of the Delta mutation, prompting some countries to expand vaccination to prevent consequences.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of early September, the country has recorded nearly 5.3 million children and adolescents positive for nCoV since the beginning of the pandemic, accounting for 15.5% of the total number of infections.

However, after a downward trend in the early summer, the number of infections among US children has increased exponentially and accounted for 28.9% of all infections between September 3 and September 9, or 243,000 cases. fit. As a result, more children and adolescents are hospitalized with Covid-19, although serious cases are still relatively rare.

In China, a new outbreak in Fujian province was also detected on September 9, after two students tested positive during a routine nCoV test at an elementary school in Tien Du district, Phu Quoc city. Fill. Another student and three parents tested positive the next day.

In just one day, from September 11 to September 12, the number of nCoV infections in Fujian province tripled, spreading to cities other than Putian. Preliminary test results on samples from some of the cases in Putian showed they were infected with the Delta variant.

A 14-year-old boy is vaccinated with a domestic Cuban Covid-19 vaccine in Havana on June 29.  Photo: Reuters.

A 14-year-old boy is vaccinated with a domestic Cuban Covid-19 vaccine in Havana on June 29. Photo: Reuters.

Compared to the original nCoV strain, the Delta variant is at least two times more infectious, leading to an increasing number of infections in vulnerable populations across all age groups.

There is no evidence that the Delta variant is targeting children more than other age groups. However, higher rates of vaccination against Covid-19 in the adult population, and most countries have not yet approved vaccination for children under 12 years of age, is believed to be the reason. More and more children are infected with nCoV.

Though, Covid-19 remains a mild illness in the vast majority of children. There is no evidence that the Delta variant is altering this trait. Severe cases after nCoV infection in children are still quite rare, the number of hospitalizations and deaths is even less.

Of the US states that report data, children account for only 1.6 to 4% of all Covid-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic began. Of all childhood infections, only 0.1 to 1.9 percent require hospitalization, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Hospitalizations in children are often for reasons other than Covid-19 complications. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children account for less than 0.3% of all deaths from Covid-19 in the country, the risk of death is also less than 0.03%.

According to experts, the risk of severe disease is lower in children because of a stronger innate immune response than in adults. This trait often helps children’s bodies successfully suppress the virus before nCoV has a chance to spread to the lungs, causing pneumonia and potentially life-threatening complications. In addition, routine childhood immunizations may have enhanced the innate immune response.

However, some children who have been infected with nCoV may later develop a rare but serious condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, although the cause is unknown. In addition, some experts warn at this stage of the pandemic, Children are likely to become a source of accumulation of nCoV, endangering both children and the entire community.

Dr Catterina Ferreccio, an epidemiologist at the Chilean Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 Advisory Committee, said that it is possible that at some point a new strain will emerge that defeats the natural defenses against the virus. children. In addition, some children with chronic illnesses are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, prompting many places to include this group on priority lists.

So, despite studies showing that children and adolescents are less likely to spread nCoV at the population level and that prioritizing adult vaccinations better protect the whole community, Some countries still promote Covid-19 vaccination for children. Chile, Cuba and China are even rolling out vaccinations for children under 12.

“It may be true that most children will still be fine with the virus, but some won’t,” said Chilean pediatrician Lorena Tapia, pointing out that 52 percent of school-age children in countries are overweight or obese, and a significant number of children suffer from respiratory diseases.

The US has approved the Covid-19 vaccination for children over 12 years old and is waiting to study the impact of the Pfizer vaccine on children aged 5-11. European countries such as France, Italy and Germany also made similar decisions.

Experts say all recommendations need to weigh the risk of harm from Covid-19 and the risk of vaccination, as well as the broader benefits of vaccines such as reducing community transmission, avoiding closures. schools and make children more comfortable. Researchers in Australia also say that herd immunity is difficult to achieve if children 5-15 years old are not vaccinated.

“As a grandmother of five, I have seen how difficult it is for children to stay at home. This is even worse for low-income families,” epidemiologist Ferreccio said.

“With schools closed for a long period of time, domestic violence rates are on the rise and are taking a terrible toll on children. Schools are a safe place for many children. Immunizations for children will help ease the pain. concerns of parents, teachers and epidemiologists. We can’t wait any longer,” she said.

Luster (Follow Bloomberg, CNN)

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