Experts say that children and newborns are at risk in the possible third Covid-19 wave as they are yet to be inoculated against the Covid-19 infection. Several children below the age of 18 years and newborns have tested positive for Covid-19 in Maharashtra’s Akola and Amravati districts as India continues to grapple with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic with a record surge in daily cases and deaths due to the virus. In the past seven days, 10-12 per cent of Covid-19 cases were reported in those below the age of 18 years in Akola and Amravati. In past one week, Amravati district has recorded 6,826 Covid-19 cases, of which, 408 were reported among newborns and children aged below 18 years. Akola saw 2,311 fresh cases, of which, 242 were children. Experts say that children and newborns are at risk in the possible third Covid-19 wave as they are yet to be inoculated against the Covid-19 infection. “This is because the children go out to play. Though there is little evidence of fatality risk among children, they can be diagnosed with mucormycosis fungal infection after contracting the virus,” he said.
What is mucormycosis? According to the US Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), mucormycosis or black fungus is a rare fungal infection. But mucormycosis (previously called zygomycosis) is a serious infection caused by a group of molds or fungi called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment. It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air. It can also occur on the skin after a cut, burn, or other types of skin injury. The symptoms of mucormycosis or black fungus appear two to three days after a person has recovered from Covid-19. “If the child is malnourished or has some other disease, then he or she is likely to even have a skin disease, liver or kidney diseases. The family members have to take care of their children properly,” Dr Kamal Kishore Dhole added. The doctor said that if proper medical attention is not given to the child, the level of infection may increase.
“The immunity of the children is quite strong. But with many mutant viral strains emerging, it is necessary to follow all protocols related to Covid-19 and take precautions to keep your children safe and sound.” Amid the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases among newborns and children, Rajkumar Chauhan, Deputy Director, Health Department, Akola Division, told Aaj Tak that there are plans to establish special Covid wards in hospitals especially for children with an effort to boost health infrastructure to prepare for the possible third wave of coronavirus.