Children can be spreaders or super-spreaders of COVID-19, said Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), on Tuesday.”Children were thought to be protected against COVID-19, however, there is some evidence that suggests children can be spreaders or super-spreaders of the virus,” he stated.
Addressing a media query in the context of children in Mizoram, the doctor referred to Kawasaki disease that has been happening among children simultaneously with COVID-19 in other parts of world.”An autoimmune disease that affects children less than five years of age, Kawasaki disease presents itself with fever, thrombocytosis, and aneurysm; arteries of the heart become dilated. So this is a rare condition. The disease affects more males than females. It is more common in the USA and less common in India,” said Dr Bhargava.
“This has been happening with the COVID in different parts of the world. However, we have don’t have any such experience of Kawasaki disease with COVID-19 in India at the moment as it is a very rare condition. We have to remember that it affects very small children. The arteries of the heart can get dilated and a clot can form in the arteries, leading to heart attack,” he said.
Dr. Bhargava further said that they have to be more careful, particularly in Mizoram, as some children were affected. There are 315 active cases in the state “Overall in India, only 8 per cent of children below the age of 17 years are positive, and it is even lesser below the age of five years,” he added.
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