“No evidence of third wave of COVID to impact kids”: AIIMS Director

There is no indication that the third wave would impact kids more, said Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, on Monday, stressing that the data of both the waves have shown the little impact of the virus on children and those who were affected did not have a severe infection.

“Those who have supported this theory say that because children have been protected so far, they could have more infections proportionally in the next wave. There is no evidence yet to support this argument,” Guleria said. He also said that the virus enters the human body through ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) receptors and kids have less of these than adults.

“We should work so that there is no other wave. If we take the learnings of the past then we can avoid any future waves. Viral infections come in waves. We have to minimize them and ensure they don’t come,” Guleria said. The AIIMS chief also said that as the number of recovered patients rises, clinics have to be developed to deal with the treatment of symptoms that persist beyond the disease. He said there was now a better understanding of post-Covid acute syndrome which can continue 8 to 12 weeks and long Covid which can occur if symptoms continue beyond 12 weeks.

While the pandemic had not impacted the younger age group, Guleria said there had been a lot of collateral damage. “Everyone knows someone who has suffered from Covid or has lost someone. This is not the pandemic of the younger age group but there has been a lot of collateral damage among them — from education, smartphone addiction, interrupted opportunities, stress and mental issues, gender gaps and nutritional issues,” he said.

Some of the common post-Covid issues among those recovered include breathlessness, coughing, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, body ache, headache and would require symptomatic treatment. “Some of these are due to the inflammatory response of the body,”. Brain fog is another complaint being reported in many recovered patients which affects a person’s concentration and can induce insomnia and depression. “Rehabi­litation is necessary for these cases. Medical community has to develop multidisciplinary post-Covid clinics,” Guleria added.

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