Delta variant more contagious even for under 12s. In the data released recently by the Ausl Romagna, referring to the week from 27 September to 3 October, there is an increase in Covid cases in children and young people of school age.
In the province of Ravenna in the range 0-3 years 6 covid cases were identified, out of 82 swabs carried out, with one positivity of 7%; in the range 3-5 years, 12 cases out of 318 swabs, with one 5% positivity; fascia 6-10, 39 cases out of 624 swabs e 6% positivity; 11-13 years 15 cases out of 506 positive swabs on 3% and 7 cases among the 14 and 18 years on 520 pads with 1% of positivity.
“Percentages up compared to the same period last year – underlines the Dr. Stefano Testi, provincial secretary of Ravenna of the Italian Federation of Pediatricians -. Since community life, that is school, has resumed, we have seen an increase in Covid cases in pediatric patients. This is certainly to be connected to the Delta variant, which has proved very contagious even for small children. Already this summer, with the opening of the summer camps, we had noticed that contagiousness had increased compared to the same period in 2020 “.
Texts also links the surge in infections in children to another element: adults who are currently less vaccinated are those between 30 and 50 years old (30-39 years old: 72%; 30-49 year old 75%, Ausl Romagna data of 4 October), who “fatally” correspond to the parents of the children . “It is the “unvaccinated” parents who infect the children, which cascade infect peers – explains -. In the case of family infections, in fact, it is very frequent that initially the parent is positive, while the children are negative. Only days later do the little ones become positivized, but often remaining asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic “.
The pediatrician explains that “a year ago, with the Alpha variant, the symptoms were mild, almost always without fever. Now it is different: it is very common that there are fever, even high, cough, rhinitis, pharyngitis and, at times, also associated with gastrointestinal symptoms. They are symptoms common to other diseases typical of this season, so the doctor usually waits a couple of days, tries to make a first investigation to understand the origin, and if they do not disappear, he requires a swab. If the swab is positive for the child, the expulsion from school and quarantine are triggered. To characterize the Delta variant is also the duration of positivity, which can last for two or three weeks “.
In the case of “Positive mother and positive child”Testi explains that synergistic assistance is activated between the child’s doctor and Pediatrics. While USCAs are there to assist adults, a specific protocol is followed for children, until it becomes negative.
On the topic prevention the pediatrician underlines the importance of also pregnant women undergo vaccination: “with the Delta variant there is a high risk that the mother will infect the unborn child. We try to make future mothers aware of this issue, also by organizing specific meetings during the preparatory courses. It is essential to protect the health of puerpera and newborn babies ”.
As for the vaccination under 12, the provincial secretary of the Italian Federation of Pediatricians has no doubts: “The data released by Pfitzer, on the experiments, indicate a very high tolerability in children under 12 years. Also this summer, with the vaccinations of the children, we have recorded very few cases where temporary side effects have emerged. For children from 5 to 11 years, the authorization of the EMA is awaited and, in any case, they will be given only half the dose, both during the first and the second injection “.
“I would like to emphasize, parents who are reluctant to have their children vaccinated, that in young children there is an excellent immune response because the number of antibodies is high and the side effects are minimal ”.
“Finally, there is another speech to make, to those parents who did not want to vaccinate:” vaccinate you, first of all, so you will also protect your children“He concludes, recalling the numerous cases this summer where parents and children came to the clinic and witnessed”heated family discussions ”with the children enthusiastic about getting vaccinated and the opposing parents.