Expert says infections are mild in South African children

Increased admissions should not generate panic

Published in 04/12/2021 - 17:30 By Alexander Winning - Repórter da Reuters - Joanesburgo

The rise in hospitalizations among children during the fourth wave of covid-19 infections in South Africa, driven by the Ômicron variant of the coronavirus, should not generate panic because symptoms have been mild, a health official said Saturday (4).

A high number of children hospitalized with covid-19 last month in Tshwane, a metropolitan area that includes the capital Petroria, has raised concerns that the new Ômicron could be more dangerous to children than other variants.

Scientists have yet to identify any relationship and have warned that other factors may have played a role.

Ntsakisi Maluleke, a public health specialist in Gauteng province that includes Tshwane and the largest city Johannesburg, told Reuters that of the 1,511 patients who tested positive for covid-19 at provincial hospitals, 113 were younger than nine, a higher proportion of the population. than in other waves of infections.

"We are reassured by reports from doctors that children have mild infections," he said in an interview. He added that health authorities and scientists are investigating what is leading to more admissions at younger ages and that he expects further clarification in two weeks.

As only a small percentage of positive tests for covid-19 in South Africa are sent for genome sequencing, authorities still do not know which variants the hospitalized children were infected with.

Text translated using artificial intelligence.

Latest news