delta variant symptoms

What Does the Delta Variant Look Like in Kids?

Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus is now the leading cause of new Covid-19 infections globally. Researchers estimate that it is at least twice more contagious than earlier variants. It also appears that delta variant symptoms would be more severe in unvaccinated people.

It would be wrong to think about it as something that targets children. However, since it is highly contagious for people without vaccination, children are suddenly at a greater risk. Moreover, researchers warn that we do not have sufficient knowledge about this variant.

Covid-19 indeed appears to be less severe in children than adults. Nonetheless, a considerable number of children are getting the infection. Although there is not enough data from India, data from the US indicates that about 15% of all the cases of Covid-19 are in children, and many of these children require hospitalization.

What are the Top Delta Variant Symptoms in Children?

Most children would start with delta variant symptoms resembling flu to seasonal viral infection like fever, runny nose, sore throat, and cough. However, many children may present more specific symptoms like loss of smell. Additionally, unlike adults, children are also more likely to develop gastrointestinal symptoms and rashes.

There are certain red flags to watch for, like difficulty breathing, chest pain, and loss of speech. Sometimes a child may suddenly become less active. It is vital to understand that, these delta variant symptoms may appear quite suddenly in a child who seems to have only mild symptoms. That is why it is essential to keep a close eye on anyone who has contracted covid-19 infections. Moreover, it is now more than evident that Indians are struggling to fight the delta variant.

Researchers think that the delta variant differs in the way that it is causing more severe symptoms in children, unlike earlier variants. Since most children are without vaccination, it is a significant cause of concern.

Studies show that, unlike seasonal viral infection, covid-19 causes the so-called Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Many children may appear to recover well from the illness, but MIS-C may make things worse. MIS-C may cause severe complications in those who seem to have fully recovered from the illness. Its symptoms may be abdominal pain, chest tightness, diarrhea, constant fatigue, low blood pressure, headaches, neck pain, rashes, and vomiting.

MIS-C may appear in children with active infection. But, in most cases, it appears weeks after the infection.

When should I test my child for COVID-19?

Since it is challenging to predict if someone is infectious with covid-19 or not, one should remain highly alert. In addition, one should not take covid-19 casually. Even if its signs appear to be relatively mild, it may still cause much harm. It may cause late complications in many.

Thus, when it comes to covid-19 testing guidelines, they are simple. One should test immediately when the symptoms arise. It will help find how active the infection is. Moreover, early diagnosis will help isolate the person and prevent the spread of the disease. It is especially vital if a child goes to school.

When will children be eligible for the vaccine?

India has the largest population of children and adolescents in the world. Although fortunately, covid waves caused relatively less harm to the children, there is a consistent risk. Moreover, experts worry that the strain may change further. The risk will become higher when children start going to school regularly.

There are many reasons why children have not been vaccinated yet. The most important cause is simply the lack of enough vaccines. Thus, it was vital to start with older adults, especially those older than 45. However, as of now, there are numerous approved vaccines in India, and production seems to have picked up. Thus, specialists are looking for vaccinating children.

The second reason for concern has been the lack of safety data in children. All clinical trials done globally were in adults. Nonetheless, things are changing fast. Many countries have already approved the use of vaccines among children, especially among teenagers.

India is not lacking behind; it has already approved the vaccine by Zydus Cadila for use in children above 12. However, as further safety data emerges, perhaps other vaccines will also get approval for use in children. One can also expect that some of the vaccines may soon get approval for children above the age of 5. It is quite probable that more such approvals may come in October 2021 or by the end of the year.

Published by

Dr. Preet Pal Singh Bhinder

Preet Pal Singh Bhinder is a physician (M.D. Medicine) with specialization in diabetes (Fellowship in diabetes, Royal Liverpool Academy). His professional experience is divided into medical practice and working at higher management for pharmaceutical multinational companies at various international destinations. Also has been involved in clinical trials of numerous drugs, food supplements, and vaccines.

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