Study explains: Why is Omicron common among children?

London (Nature) – 07/02/2022. 09:31

“Schools” are one of the reasons for the spread of Omicron among children

  • One possible explanation is that the mutant’s high susceptibility to infection is offset by a lack of cumulative immunity
  • Omicron may not infect lung cells as easily as cells in the upper airways

The Omicron mutant hits children more severely than other mutant ones, with more children in the United States hospitalized than previously.

And the specialized scientific website Nature says that children may be more susceptible to the disease because many of them are not vaccinated

Schools have also remained open during this wave of infections compared to previous waves.

Scientists are trying to find out why Omicron It has resulted in disproportionately more hospitalizations in children

In the United States, for example, children make up about 5 percent of all hospital admissions with COVID-19

It is four times higher than previous waves of the coronavirus.

And the site quotes Michael Abode, a specialist in women’s and children’s health at King’s College, in London, that the severity of the disease in children is not different from its severity in relation to other mutant ones.

That is, Omicron does not cause them to have more serious symptoms, despite the increase in the percentage of children who are hospitalized because of it, especially those under the age of one year.

According to the site, the children required fewer medical interventions, such as ventilators and supplemental oxygen.

These results reflect the trend across all population segments, where omicron appears to be highly contagious

Less likely than baffled delta to cause hospitalization or death, especially among those vaccinated.

One possible explanation for the infection of children is that the mutant’s high susceptibility to infection is offset by a lack of cumulative immunity from vaccination or previous infection.

This makes children more susceptible to omicron, compared to adults who get vaccinated.

Most countries have not yet authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of five, and some have not yet introduced the vaccine to children under the age of twelve.

Even in the United States, which has authorized vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11, less than a third of children in that age group have received the vaccine.

Another explanation, the site says, is that several mutations in omicron have made the disease different and possibly slightly more serious in younger children than in the adult population.

says Andrew Pavia, MD, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City.

As evidence for this theory, Pavia cites early reports indicating that omicron may not infect lung cells as easily as cells in the upper airways.

But children have relatively small nasal passages that can be easily blocked

Therefore, upper respiratory infections in children sometimes require extra attention compared to those who suffer from them in adults.

Even if children generally recover from acute omicron infection, doctors are still concerned that they may develop long-term COVID.

Symptoms persist for several months or children develop more serious infections.

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