Second Covid wave more dangerous for children, say doctors

In the second wave of the pandemic, even two-year-olds are being brought to hospitals with lung infections, which is something the doctors didn’t see in the first wave.

Published: 27th April 2021 03:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2021 08:34 AM   |  A+A-

Children give swab samples for Covid-19 testing.

Children give swab samples for Covid-19 testing. (Photo| EPS/Parveen negi)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Doctors treating children with Covid-19 say that in the second wave of the pandemic, even two-year-olds are being brought to hospitals with lung infections, which is something they didn’t see in the first wave. On April 23, a 19-day-old girl from Chennai died due to Covid pneumonia at the Government Institute of Child Health, Egmore.

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Doctors say it was probably the first such death among children. Dr S Ezhilarasi, director of the  institute, said the parents of the baby had symptoms of Covid but didn’t know they had the disease. The baby was referred to the hospital from outside and was brought in a critical condition.

“The baby died of Covid pneumonia. This is probably the first case in Tamil Nadu among children succumbing to Covid pneumonia. We didn’t see such lung infection last year. This is our first case too. The other children are fine,” said Dr Ezhilarasi. 

A paediatrician in Chennai too said they didn’t see any children with lung complications last year. “An 11-year-old boy came with moderate lung infection. He required minimal oxygen support and recovered the next day. The youngest patient in our hospital was two years old. That child also had a mild lung infection but didn’t require oxygen support. We have so far seen two children with oxygen requirements.”“The children also didn’t require a lot of oxygen. Children requiring oxygen and showing lung involvement is new this year,” the paediatrician said.

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Meanwhile, Dr N Kannan, senior consultant paediatrician and medical director, Dr Mehta’s Hospital, Chetpet, said that compared to last year, more children are affected this year, but it is still predominantly adults who are getting affected. In the first wave of Covid, children were asymptomatic, but they now show symptoms such as fever, diarrhoea, cold and cough. As the adults at home have severe symptoms, children also get them, said Dr J Rajkumar from Gleneagles Global Health City Hospital.


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