No data to show third wave will affect children the most: AIIMS Director

There is no data that shows children will be affected in the third wave of Covid-19, either in India or internationally, says AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Tuesday. During a media briefing, Guleria said, “It is a piece of misinformation that subsequent waves of the Covid-19 pandemic are going to cause severe illness in children.” He also said that 60 percent to 70 percent of children who got infected and needed hospitalization were children with either comorbidities or low immunity. Healthy children recovered with only a mild illness and they did not need to be hospitalized.

“Waves normally occur in pandemics caused due to respiratory viruses – the 1918 Spanish Flu, H1N1 (swine) flu are examples. The second wave of 1918 Spanish Flu was the biggest, after which there was a smaller third wave,” the AIIMS director said.

“Multiple waves occur when there is a susceptible population. When a large part of the population acquires immunity against the infection, the virus becomes endemic and infection becomes seasonal – like that of H1N1 that commonly spreads during monsoon or winters.”

Another reason for the occurrence of waves is when the virus mutates or changes.

Guleria said, “Waves can occur due to change in the virus (such as new variants). Since new mutations become more infectious, there is a higher chance for the virus to spread.”

He also asked people to strictly follow Covid-appropriate behavior.

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