Over 600 rescued children test positive for Covid-19 in Andhra: Is coronavirus dangerous to kids?

Under the 'Operation Muskaan,' the Andhra Pradesh police rescued 16,457 children in less than a week's time. Of these 2,195 kids have been tested for Covid until now, and results of 631 kids came out positive.

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Andhra Pradesh police have revealed that as many as 631 rescued children have tested positive for Covid-19. In less than a week's time, 16,457 children were rescued as part of the Andhra Pradesh police department's 'Operation Muskaan' which not just aims at rescuing the lost and wayward children, but also to check if they had contracted coronavirus. Of these 2,195 kids have already been tested for Covid until now. Among them, 631 kids were found to have been infected with coronavirus.

The infected children are being given necessary medical attention and tests for the rest of them are underway, a police official told IANS news agency.

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The rescue operation was carried out in coordination with Child-Line and Child Welfare Committee (CWC), along with district police departments at all transit points such as railway stations, bus stations, parks, hotels and others.

The rescued children included child labourers, children living on the streets, orphans and those who ran away from home. Of the 16,457 children, 13,588 were boys and the remaining 2,869 were girls.

Coronavirus infection in children

Researchers and doctors are still learning about COVID-19, the disease which has causes death of more than one million people worldwide. As per the existing data, far fewer cases have been reported in children as compared to adults. The virus also seems to cause a milder infection in children.

According to a review of 18 studies, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, most paediatric cases of COVID-19 exhibited mild symptoms like fever, dry cough, and fatigue, recovering within one or two weeks. However, there were a few cases of severe manifestations including pneumonia, shock, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and kidney failure, which required ventilation and intensive care.

Common COVID-19symptoms in kids

A study by UK research team including researchers from King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals as well as the health data science company ZOE found difference in COVID-19 symptoms between children and adults.

According to them, the most common symptoms of coronavirus in children are fatigue, headache and fever. On the contrary, the team found fatigue, headache, a persistent cough, sore throat and loss of smell as the most common symptoms in adults.

But in some cases, kids develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), sometimes several weeks after being infected with the virus. MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs, according to the CDC.

MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition got better after receiving special care in the hospital, sometimes in the ICU.

Why kids mostly experience mild symptoms?

One possible reason is that COVID-19 usually affects the upper respiratory tract of children that includes nose, mouths, and throats, which leads to flu-like symptoms.

Another possible reason suggested by experts is the fact that children have lower volumes of ACE2 receptor in their lungs. ACE2 receptor is a protein that allows the COVID-19 virus to thrive and multiply.

Covid-19 mortality in kids

The death rate among Covid-19 positive children is reported to be way below other age groups. But there have been some cases COVID-19 mortality in kids all over the world including India.

Paediatricians attribute the low mortality rate in children to the low level of protein ACE-2 that acts as the receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and allows the virus to infect the cell. Children also have a stronger immune system and they recover faster than adults. According to doctors, symptoms like fever usually come down in three to four days in children and they test negative in a week.

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