Children's Health / 25 January, 2021 / My Baba
The new variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first identified in the U.K, is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the previous strains. This variant, known as B.1.1.7 variant, has several mutations that allow it to penetrate the cells more easily, leading to a higher rate of infection in adults and children.
Professor Wendy Barclay, head of Department of Infectious Disease and member of NERVTAG, believes that caution should be exercised when looking at the impact of the new variant on children. But exactly what impact will the new strain of Covid-19 have on our kids?
“Let’s be clear. We’re not saying that this is a virus that specifically attacks children or is any more specific in its ability to infect children. But we know that SARS-CoV-2, as it emerged, was not as efficient at infecting children as it was in adults. There are many hypotheses [as to why], but one is the expression of the ACE2 receptor that could be different in children. So if the new variant is having an easier time of finding and entering the cells, then that would put children on a more level playing field, if you like.”
The good news is that despite higher transmissibility, there is no evidence yet that the new form of the virus is a greater threat to children’s health.
Most children with COVID-19 infection remain asymptomatic (experiencing no symptoms) or develop mild symptoms whilst still spreading the virus.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 in children are fever and cough, but they can also present with nasal congestion or runny nose, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea and vomiting, tiredness, headache, body aches or/and poor appetite or poor feeding, especially in babies under 1-year-old.
Babies under 1-year-old and children with certain underlying conditions such as may be more likely to experience a severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, Parents should be more vigilant to seek medical advice, should their children develop any of the above symptoms.
Article by Dr Maryam Behnam, MD, MRCGP, PGClinDermDip, BLSM, Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic. https://cpmedicalclinic.com