A sero survey conducted on a paediatric population -those below 18- have antibodies against COVID-19. Out of a paediatric population of 2,176, 51.18 per cent of children have been exposed to coronavirus (most of whom were asymptomatic) in Mumbai between April 1 and June 15. The study indicates that the severity of infection among children still remains low. In the survey carried out by BMC-run Nair Hospital doctors, blood samples of paediatric population were collected from path labs across Mumbai. And it showed the highest Seropositivity, which is 53.43 per cent for children between the ages of 10-14. Those aged 15-18 showed 51.39 per cent Seropositivity and those between the ages 1-4 showed 51.04 per cent Seropositivity. Seropositivity means the number of those who tested positive for antibodies against coronavirus.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said, there is a notable increase in sero positivity in the paediatric population against the virus that causes COVID-19 in this study compared to the third sero survey conducted in March this year. The sero survey conducted in March showed 39.4 per cent sero positivity for the below-18 age group. Dr Jayanthi Shastri, head of microbiology in Nair hospital concluded that the immunity in children is pretty good. So even if, by any chance, they get exposed to the virus, they will be able to bear severe infection.
The survey also reveals that more children from the economically weaker section, which is 54.36 per cent, had antibodies compared to 47.03 per cent in children belonging to the relatively affluent sector. Last month, the surveys on children were conducted in other states as well–Karnataka and Maharashtra amid the continuing concern, flagged by Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS that COVID third wave will target children.
The government, however, has said, at this stage, there is no evidence to suggest whether children will be severely or more affected by the third wave. Dr Guleria was also quoted saying that data collected from the first and second of COVID-19 shows children are usually protected. Even if they contract the virus, they will have mild infection and is treatable.
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