The fact cannot be denied that the Covid19 is a pandemic and a challenge to the global community which has affected millions of people across the world with hundreds of thousands dead and only 8 percent among the victims were children which is a very low number.

The positivity ratio among the children in the first and second wave of Covid19 was very low and few of the children across the world had lost their lives due to the Coronavirus.

However, like the rest of the world, health experts in Pakistan have also expressed their concerns over the rapid spread of coronavirus during the third wave of the pandemic, as the ratio of positivity among the children in Pakistan is increasing with every passing day.

The death rate among children as per health officials is much lower than but since they can be potential carriers of the virus children have become a major cause for the spread of the disease. Health experts say that newborns are also affected by the virus.

According to recent data last month, at least 5,792 children of the ages up to 10 years tested positive for Covid-19 only in the federal capital Islamabad since the start of the pandemic last year. According to official statistics, the children who tested positive for coronavirus included newborns.

While talking to Voice of KP, Doctor Aftab said that the people should take the third wave much serious as it is affecting both children and adults almost with a same ratio. He said very young children can develop COVID-19 and many of them have no symptoms.

He said that those that do get sick tend to experience milder symptoms such as low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough and some children have had severe complications, but this has been less common. Children with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe illness.

He maintained that the potentially severe and dangerous complication can occur in children which is also known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C); adding that it can lead to life-threatening problems to the heart and other organs in the body.  Dr Aftab warned that in this condition different body parts such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs can become inflamed.

Meanwhile, Dr Imad Khan who is serving in Corona ward in a private hospital in Peshawar said that although in a majority of cases disease seems to be milder in young children but it is important for parents and caregivers to understand that children can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and can transmit it to others.

Dr. Imad stated that fever and cough are common COVID-19 symptoms in both adults and children. Shortness of breath observed in the adults. Children can have pneumonia with or without obvious symptoms. They can also experience sore throat, excessive fatigue or diarrhea, he added.

He warned the parents that serious illness in children with COVID-19 is possible and parents should stay alert if their child shows signs of the disease.

Dr. Imad concluded that in rare cases children can become very sick with COVID-19, and deaths have occurred, saying that it is important to use precautions and prevent infection in children as well as adults.

A research conducted by some doctors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stated that 25 percent schoolchildren in KP have corona antibodies with no apparent symptoms of corona.

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Mansoor Bakhtiar

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