The coronavirus infection did not go away. The epidemic has subsided in countries where the spread of the disease has been rapidly contained by bans on mass gatherings and the dissemination of information about safe behavior. The threat of getting sick remains, but this does not negate such an important event as the beginning of the school year.
Pupils and their mentors negatively assessed the practice of distance learning. From a medical point of view, this extreme measure was justified at a time when there was very little information about SARS-CoV-2 and every person who refused direct contact with a potential carrier of the infection could simplify the work of doctors and save someone’s life.
It would be as unwise to continue to keep children isolated, interfering with the educational process, as not taking any measures in order to protect themselves and their families from the virus.
The course of COVID-19 in children
Due to the fact that the coronavirus epidemic overwhelmed hospitals with elderly patients whose lives were at risk, the version was put forward that children and adolescents are resistant to infection. In March 2020, doctors from the United States presented statistics according to which 5% of people diagnosed with coronavirus were under 19 years old. Report
Minors also get sick, and for them this infection is far from being as safe as people who are far from medicine like to say. Confirmed child deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Europe, China, the United States, Kazakhstan and Russia. These are isolated cases, for the most part, young people tolerate the disease more easily, but it is criminal to propagate among the younger generation a careless attitude to the disease, or even special infection to develop immunity.
The reasons that a dangerous disease in children passes with practically no symptoms are currently being studied. Among the most plausible hypotheses are:
- The young organism is not worn out. Most children do not have chronic diseases that increase the risk of death in infected adults and especially older people.
- The child’s immune system is not fully formed. She is unable to give that very life-threatening response in the form of a cytokine storm, upon discovering an intruder.
- Children have fewer ACE-2 receptors through which the coronavirus enters the body.
The fact of the spread of the disease in children, 90% of whom, with a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2, do not need hospitalization, has been proven.
Staff at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Children’s Hospital conducted a study that was presented in The Journal of Pediatrics in August 2020. They examined the mucous secretions of minors diagnosed with COVID-19. The result stunned scientists: the content of viral particles in the mucus from the nasopharynx of children is higher than in adult patients who were in a hospital.
Symptoms of COVID-19 in Children
The disease manifests itself in a child differently than in an adult. Coronavirus in children can be suspected if:
- Increased body temperature. She may not last long and not inspire fear, but it is impossible not to notice her, if you are attentive to the child.
- Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx, cough.
- Fatigue, muscle pain, sometimes cramps.
- Digestive problems.
- Kawasaki syndrome is a vascular lesion that manifests itself in the form of fever, swollen lymph nodes, edema of the mucous membranes, skin rashes (with coronavirus, it is most often observed on the toes).
The so-called asymptomatic form of the disease is a mild malaise, which most often does not become a reason for immediate diagnosis. A visit to the doctor will be useful. It is important to prevent the spread of infection and not to miss possible complications, the nature of which is still poorly understood.
Prevention of COVID-19 in schoolchildren
How promising is it to talk about protection from coronavirus and how to prevent infection of children while they are attending school? Let us step back from what the official channels broadcast, and recall the actual powerlessness of medicine and health education in the fight against seasonal colds, which in a number of characteristics (mode of transmission, lack of herd immunity) are similar to coronavirus.
The craving for such associations will disappear, one has only to turn to history. Even 100 years ago, disposable dishes were a novelty, tap water was not disinfected with chlorine, and society could not believe that many diseases could be prevented by observing basic hygiene rules.
Health education for schoolchildren, highlighted by the COVID-19 epidemic, is a contribution to the future of healthcare. For too long, sloppiness among children and adolescents has been viewed as a norm, and its consequences as a natural course of things. It’s time to rethink the established stereotypes.
To be continued…
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