Bhubaneswar: The Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) has called baseless the fears circulating on social media about a third wave hitting children hard. Any fresh surge in the COVID-19 epidemic is “highly unlikely” to predominantly or severely affect children, it asserted, The Telegraph reported.
According to the IAP, a body representing over 32,000 paediatricians across the country, said that while children appear as susceptible as adults and the elderly to develop the coronavirus infection, 90 per cent of infections in children are mild or without symptoms.
“We wanted to refute wrong messages and misconceptions going around,” Bakul Jayant Parekh, a Mumbai-based paediatrician and former president of the IAP, told The Telegraph. “This advisory represents the IAP’s viewpoint based on global scientific evidence.”
Clinical data collected during India’s first and second waves show that COVID-19 infections in children are less likely to require admission to intensive care units. The IAP said there was “no evidence” to suggest that most children with COVID-19 would develop severe disease in the third wave, the report added.
“We see more children get infected during this (second) wave, but this is likely because there are more infections overall. As the numbers of overall infections grew, so did the number of (infected) children,” Dhanya Dharmapalan, a Mumbai-based paediatrician and member of the IAP’s Covid-19 committee, told The Telegraph.
The IAP said only a small percentage of infected children were likely to develop moderate or severe disease. “If there is a massive increase in the overall numbers of infected individuals, a larger number of children with moderate or severe disease may be seen,” it said.