Symptoms of the Omicron variant on children
The advance of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the variant Omicron is rapidly supplanting the infamous Delta, very aggressive, but less contagious. From what the data say, the Omicron variant is certainly much more contagious and this explains the very high number of positives recorded in recent weeks. It is therefore understandable that there is a growing anxiety among parents who ask themselves how to orient themselves in daily life and how the symptoms of the Omicron variant on children. Let's see what we know and what the experts say.
In this article
- The data
- What to do?
Ibukun Kalu, specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Duke University, confirms that there is an increase in COVID cases in the pediatric population and this phenomenon is also observed in the country: according to the latest bulletin of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS ) the increase in cases mainly affects the under 20s, with 50% of cases in this range involving children between 6 and 11 years of age.
It should be emphasized, however, that positivity does not necessarily mean pneumonia or severe symptoms. Experts confirm that Omicron is milder than the Delta variant, although it can cause, especially in unvaccinated children, more significant symptoms in a small percentage of children who are hospitalized.
How the Omicron variant is transmitted
As the Istituto Superiore di Sanità explains, there is consistent evidence that Omicron has greater transmissibility than the Delta variant in countries with a doubling time of 2 3-days and which could become the predominant variant in a few weeks.
Also Read: Post Vaccine Symptoms in Children
We are now used to the idea that the symptoms of COVID are essentially cough, fever, loss of taste and smell. But the Omicron variant seems to manifest itself differently, even in the smallest ones, and pediatricians all over the world are gathering shared information to photograph the symptoms that should not be underestimated.
For example, interviewed by Sky News, the British doctor David Lloyd he explained that in 15% of the children he visited and tested positive for COVID there was a strange phenomenon rash, but they are also alarm bells:
- loss of appetite,
In addition to the most common cough, cold, fever.
According to the ZOE Symptom Covid study, among the most up-to-date COVID studies in the UK, the top five symptoms of the Omicron variant in adults are:
- a runny nose,
- sore throat.
According to the data, Omicron mainly affects the upper respiratory tract - therefore the pharyngeal tract - instead of the lower respiratory tract, reaching the lungs. This is why it is much more contagious, but milder.
Often the COVID in the Omicron variant, therefore, can be confused with a simple one cold - or an allergic rhinitis with a runny nose - also associated with other symptoms such as cough, sore throat and pharyngitis.
The data relating to the effects of the so-called Long COVID, i.e. long-term symptoms affecting patients affected by the infection, including children and adolescents, are not yet known, including:
- weakness that does not allow to make efforts
- pain in the joints and muscles
- some fever line
- feeling of general malaise.
What to do?
Although it appears to be milder the Omicron variant is extremely contagious and easily transmitted. For this the usual rules remain valid:
- always wear the mask outside the home;
- maintain social distancing;
- avoid contact with people with colds or flu-like symptoms;
- vaccinating and vaccinating children.
The COVID vaccine for children
- In pediatric range 5-11 yearsi, vaccination takes place in two doses three weeks apart. The available data demonstrate a high level of efficacy and there are currently no warning signs in terms of safety.
- I children aged 12 to 18 they can do the two doses of vaccine, while in Del Paese the campaign for the booster (third dose) is not yet active in this age group.