Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday in a statement said that until recently, the children were not seriously implicated by COVID and this was the biggest psychological relief for parents and doctors. There were only a few documented cases worldwide, and most cases were asymptomatic. However, the second wave of COVID has come with different aggression, high rate of transmission changed spectrum of illness and virus is impacting children significantly.
President Doctors Association Kashmir, Dr Suhail Naik said that due to continuous viral replication, the virus develops different changes in its genetic code called mutations, and subsequent alterations in its antigenic structure and virulence factors.
These different mutations have led to different variants of the virus with increased capability to infect people across all age groups. The distinction in spike proteins, which the virus uses to attach itself to the body and multiply could also become more aggressive and thus, cause more infections. Therefore it seems children are right now also prone to the dangers of COVID since the virus has gotten stronger and ‘smarter’ in its attack, Dr Naik added.
General Secretary DAK, Dr Owais H Dar further added that newer COVID strains, such as the double mutant strain (called as Desi-Variant) identified in India is for the same reason, also increasing the number of symptomatic cases in children below the age of 16.
The second wave of coronavirus is causing a surge in cases. Most particularly, the B.1.1.7 and India’s B.1.617 variant are said to be quite scary for the children too- who have been largely spared during the pandemic previously.
As schools are closed, the children usually contract the infection from adults who go outside the home and don’t follow public health advisory religiously.
Doctors Association Kashmir appeals to people to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible, sooner the better and adopt COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) religiously including wearing of face masks, Hand hygiene and avoiding Public gatherings.