If on the one hand the data of the contagion, in Italy, show signs of general improvement, on the other hand there is a category of people that causes concern. Among the under 12s – for whom the vaccine has not yet been authorized – the cases of Coronavirus do not show any signs of decreasing as in the other age groups, indeed. In the latest bulletin of the Higher Institute of Health, there is an increase in infections in the population between 0 and 9 years. “It is probably the effect of a mix between school activity, which exponentially elevates the social relationships of children, and the impossibility of immunizing them”, explains Annamaria Staiano, president of the Italian Society of Pediatrics, at Courier service.
Coronavirus or influenza?
Although younger children have proven, at every stage of the pandemic, to be more resistant to the severe effects of the infection, there is already an increased use of hospital care for them. Hospitalizations increased by 4% in children up to 3 years compared to the first half of the year. “We are talking about infants – continues Staiano – for this reason it is important that pregnant women get vaccinated”. While it is true that most of the younger patients develop mild forms of Covid-19, the risk is that some more deaths may occur at this stage than in previous periods. Since the beginning of the health emergency, in Italy, 350 cases of multisystem inflammatory disease caused by Sars-CoV-2 have been found in the very young, for which hospitalization in resuscitation was necessary.
Pending the approval of the vaccine for the age group 4-11 years – Pfizer has concluded its internal study, the regulatory agencies are awaited – the only indication to follow is to ensure that children also respect interpersonal distancing and have them wear masks. But how to recognize if the infection contracted by children is Coronavirus or if it is a simple flu? It is very difficult to distinguish the symptoms since, in most cases, the diseases have the same manifestations. That is gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sore throat. But as explained by Hagi Abdulkadir Ibrahim, head of the Neonatology operative unit of the Sant’Anna Clinical Institute, Covid-19 and influenza “have subtle clinical differences in their symptoms. It is necessary to evaluate with particular attention ».
Asymptomatic and paucisymptomatic
In case of Coronavirus infection, high fever, fatigue, muscle pain and a particularly aggressive dry cough are more evident. Finally, there are two unequivocal symptoms: the loss of smell and taste – anosmia and ageusia – and the presence of respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath. In some cases, epidermal breakouts have also occurred. But this is a rarer symptom that, on its own, is not attributable to Sars-CoV-2 infection. That said, in most cases, positive children are asymptomatic and paucisymptomatic. The Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital, in its guide, recalls that the symptoms in children “tend to be limited to a week or two. On average the duration of the disease is four or five days ».