New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) There is no scientific evidence to prove that the impending third wave of coronavirus disease will have a detrimental effect on children, said experts here on Friday, asking people to stay away from such misinformation, which has been on the rise since the outbreak of pandemic.It has been widely claimed that children will be infected the most during the third Covid-19 wave. While some kids were affected during the second wave, almost 90 per cent of the infections, so far, have been mild or asymptomatic."The combination of misinformation and disinformation, which is called infodemic, has been happening since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the recent example of misinformation is that - the third wave of covid will impact children - this is complete misinformation as there is no scientific basis behind it," IPHA President and Professor, Department of Community Medicine, AIIMS, Sanjay Kumar Rai, said at the Infodemic Pandemic eSummit - HEAL-Thy Samvaad Episode-19, organised by HEAL Health.This was also echoed by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) which noted that although children remain susceptible to infection, it was "highly unlikely that the third wave will predominantly or exclusively affect children".The experts further stated that the onset of Covid-19 also led to an overabundance of information, impacting the mental health of people. This was further exacerbated by the lockdowns and other restrictions."There is fear and uncertainty associated with Covid-19, anxiety, and distress caused by lockdowns and social distancing, limited access to mental health services -- and this is all due to the misinformation and disinformation surfacing around," National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences' (NIMHANS) Centre for Psycho-Social Support in Disaster Management head, Prof K. Sekar, said.Interestingly, the World Economic Forum cautions overabundance of information as digital wildfires, JNU's Centre of Social Medicine & Community Health Chairperson Dr. Rajib Das Gupta said."The Covid rumour waves started as early as the third week of January and the second rumour surfaced in the month of February. There has been confusion around, and all forms of media are pumping the information but all are not credible. There has been a very complex situation as a multitude of activities are going on. There is a lack of risk communication," Das Gupta said.The experts noted that the misinformation also plays a role in vaccine hesitancy.--IANSrvt/vd
Puducherry, July 15 (IANS) Sixteen children, aged between 1 and 8 years, are under treatment in various hospitals Puducherry after testing Covid-19 positive, an official said on Thursday.According to the Union Territory's Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr S. Mohankumar, 12 of these children are aged between 1 and 5 years while the rest are above the age of 5. Five newborns to Covid positive mothers have also been tested and one has been tested negative, while the results of the other four are being awaited.Mohankumar, in a statement, also said that several children in Puducherry were affected by Covid-19 during the first and second wave of the pandemic.The Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) have also reported cases of children suffering from Covid. It said that children, brought to the medical college for other ailments, had tested positive.Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, who also holds the health portfolio, has directed the Health and Family Welfare Department to take steps to prevent children contracting the disease.--IANSaal/vd
New York, July 15 (IANS) Heart problems in children, who were hospitalised with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) -- an inflammatory condition triggered by Covid -- lasted just a few months and resolved rapidly, suggests a study.MIS-C is a rare condition that causes widespread inflammation throughout the body. Many children with MIS-C were asymptomatic or had mild Covid symptoms at first but weeks later developed a variety of nonrespiratory symptoms including abdominal pain, skin rashes, heart abnormalities, and, in some cases, extremely low blood pressure.However, these were mostly gone within a few months, revealed the study by researchers at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian."We've learned that Covid causes a spectrum of illness in children. Some are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and a small number of kids who develop MIS-C become critically ill, requiring admission to the ICU," said Kanwal M. Farooqi, Assistant Professor of pediatrics at Columbia's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons."It is a relief that this study shows that most of the severe heart and immunologic manifestations we saw in kids with MIS-C resolved rapidly," Farooqi added.The small study, published in the journal Pediatrics, analysed about 45 MIS-C patients. Nearly 80 per cent of the children had some type of cardiac dysfunction, and almost half had moderate to severe cardiac abnormalities, including decreased ability of the heart to pump properly, coronary artery dilation, and leaking heart valves.Two-thirds of the children also experienced a temporary decrease in the number of white blood cells during their hospital stay. The majority had an increase in inflammatory markers, and more than half also had elevated cardiac-specific markers indicating heart injury.Most of the patients responded rapidly to steroids and other treatments and were discharged by about five days. The immunologic abnormalities and markers for heart injury returned to normal within a few weeks and by four months, most of the heart abnormalities had resolved, including all of the coronary artery abnormalities, Farooqi said."Nevertheless, given the absence of long-term data, we are recommending that children who had more than mild dysfunction on cardiac ultrasound should get a cardiac MRI at six months and see a pediatrician before being cleared for competitive sports," he noted.--IANSrvt/in
Geneva, July 15 (IANS) More than three million children in India missed a first dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis combined vaccine (DTP-1) in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data published on Thursday by WHO and UNICEF.The figure is the highest in the world with DTP-3 coverage falling from 91 per cent to 85 per cent. In 2019, about 1.4 million children had missed their first dose.While disruptions in immunisation services were widespread in 2020, the middle-income countries in the WHO Southeast Asian and Eastern Mediterranean Regions were the most affected. Compared with 2019, 3.5 million more children missed their first dose of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTP-1) while three million more children missed their first measles dose. The study, based on data from 160 countries, suggests that Covid-19 may likely lead to the resurgence of measles, polio and other killers as the pandemic unravels years of progress in routine immunisation and exposing millions of children to deadly, preventable diseases."This evidence should be a clear warning -- the Covid-19 pandemic and related disruptions cost us valuable ground we cannot afford to lose -- and the consequences will be paid in the lives and wellbeing of the most vulnerable," said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, in a statement. "Even before the pandemic, there were worrying signs that we were beginning to lose ground in the fight to immunise children against preventable child illness, including with the widespread measles outbreaks two years ago. The pandemic has made a bad situation worse. With the equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines at the forefront of everyone's minds, we must remember that vaccine distribution has always been inequitable, but it does not have to be," Fore added.Globally, 23 million children missed out on basic vaccines through routine immunisation services in 2020 -- 3.7 million more than in 2019, the data showed.Up to 17 million of these likely did not receive a single vaccine during the year, widening already immense inequities in vaccine access. Most of these children live in communities affected by conflict, in under-served remote places, or in informal or slum settings where they face multiple deprivations including limited access to basic health and key social services."Even as countries clamour to get their hands on Covid-19 vaccines, we have gone backwards on other vaccinations, leaving children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "Multiple disease outbreaks would be catastrophic for communities and health systems already battling Covid-19, making it more urgent than ever to invest in childhood vaccination and ensure every child is reached," he added.Further, vaccinations against human papillomavirus (HPV) -- which protect girls against cervical cancer later in life -- have also been highly affected by school closures. As a result, across countries that have introduced HPV vaccine to date, approximately 1.6 million more girls missed out in 2020. Globally only 13 per cent girls were vaccinated against HPV, falling from 15 per cent in 2019.In addition to routine immunization disruptions, there are currently 57 postponed mass vaccination campaigns in 66 countries, for measles, polio, yellow fever and other diseases, affecting millions more people.--IANSrvt/dpb
Thiruvananthapuram, Amid fears of a third wave, over 1,500 Ayurveda experts in the country are set to come together and discuss on developing and adopting a uniform treatment protocol for Covid cases among children.
The two-day online conference starting on Sunday is being organised by Kerala-headquartered Vaidyaratnam Group, which has deep roots in the Indian Ayurveda as part of its Founder's Commemoration Day ceremony.
Vaidyaratnam Group's conference on Covid and post-Covid Ayurvedic management of paediatric cases comes in the backdrop of growing fears that children may be the worst hit by the likely third wave of Covid.
The conference will also see participation from paediatrics and experts from leading institutes like All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi, Ayurveda Medical College, Kannur and National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, sharing their clinical experience with case studies from the current and previous Covid cycles.
As per the latest studies, the third wave of Covid may affect the age group up to 18.
E.T. Neelakandhan Mooss, director, Vaidyaratnam Group said the expected outcome of the seminar is to develop a treatment protocol in the Covid management of paediatric cases with advice from the expert panel and have a scientific approach towards Covid and post-Covid management in adults.
Vaidyaratnam is actively involved in prevention, Covid management and post-Covid management, including free post-Covid out-patients and medications for patients in below poverty line segments.
Last month, the Ayush ministry released detailed guidelines to deal with Covid cases in children stressing the need for preventive treatment (Prophylaxes) as the most effective approach to protect children from this deadly virus.
Tanuja Nesari, director of All India Institute of Ayurveda, an autonomous organisation under the ministry of Ayush will explain the approach of Ayush department towards the Covid management and measures taken to address the expected third wave which may affect infants and kids.
Ayurveda has so far played a major role in both the first and second waves of the Covid in terms of treating mild to moderate cases.
With the medical infrastructure in many parts of the country coming under severe stress during the second wave, experts are of the view that Ayurveda will have a crucial role to play during the anticipated third wave. (IANS)
Chandigarh, July 6 (IANS) As much as 69 per cent children in Chandigarh tested positive for antibodies in an interim sero survey report, the PGI Hospital said on Tuesday.The PGI is carrying out the COVID-19 sero survey in children between six and 18 years of age and the study is funded by the UT Administration.The survey, which was kick started on June 24, is progressing at a good pace, PGI Director Jagat Ram said.He said the survey among the paediatric population is of utmost importance since there is news that third wave can affect children.Till date, blood samples of 756 children had been collected for the sero survey out of which 519 had tested positive for IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, meaning almost 69 per cent of children had been previously infected.Dr Mini P. Singh said the testing is being carried out using a high throughput CLIA machine available in the Department of Virology so that reports can be made available in a short span of time.P.V.M. Lakshmi, who is coordinating the field activity of the survey, said that serosurvey teams have been divided into four groups, each consisting of a field investigator and a laboratory technician, who undertook household visits in different sectors, villages, and slums.Out of all children enrolled till July 4, 396 samples were collected from households of Sectors 22, 24, 36, 56 and 11, which showed positivity in 65 per cent of samples (257 positive out of 396) and 360 samples were collected from households of Burail, Maloya, Dhanas, Attawa and Khajeri villages, which showed positivity of 73 per cent (262 out of 360).These are the interim results and the study aims to collect around 2,700 samples in total which will provide a clearer picture of the actual percentage of children who had been infected during first and second waves in Chandigarh.--IANSvg/vd
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