President of the Yucatán College of Pediatrics explains behavior of the variant in children
MÉRIDA, Yucatán, (August 10, 2021).- Given the fact that the coronavirus vaccine does not yet exist for children in Mexico, many mothers and fathers in Yucatán wonder what the outlook is for the eventual return to face-to-face classes planned to start on August 30.
In this regard, the pediatric infectious disease specialist Adolfo Gonzalo Palma Chan, who is president of the Yucatan State College of Pediatrics, declared that parents have to be very careful because many children can also be infected with the Delta variant, which is already circulating nationwide.
He explained that although most cases of coronavirus in children have mild sequelae, with the Delta variant, infections spread faster, and if a child is asymptomatic, he or she can infect up to 9 people with this new variant.
“Now we have variants up to the letter Delta, with very different characteristics from the original virus, which is why the protein components change. As for the Delta variant, it is more contagious because a person infected with this virus is able to infect up to 9 people, so its dissemination capacity is greater ”.
He indicated that this variant has not been seen to generate more serious cases but it does infect, mostly people who have not been vaccinated or who have not become ill with coronavirus.
“That is why an incidence of contagion has been noted in young people who are not fully or partially immunized or have comorbidities,” he explained.
The specialist indicated that in states such as Nuevo León there is an upturn in contagion among adolescents with the Delta variant and more than 7 states have demonstrated that the virus is causing an increase in their cases.
“Here in Yucatan we do not have data on how many infections there are among young people but we have registered cases of the Delta variant already.”
In children, he continued, although they are asymptomatic, they can carry the virus to their relatives, and in infants, only 5 or 6% will show serious manifestations.
“If I had children of school age, I would not take them to school, until they were vaccinated,” Palma Chan said.
Symptoms in children
“Most children have mild symptoms after becoming ill with coronavirus, however, the virus damages the brain in just a few cases, and it is not known if this will affect children in the future and if their performance will be diminished by the disease”, president of the Yucatan State College of Pediatrics continued.
The specialist recalled that Covid has shown that it generates physical fatigue and weakness, as well as headaches.
Also, it damages the lungs, brain, heart, and kidneys, vital organs that in the long run can develop a chronic disease.
When will there be vaccinations for those under 18?
When asked about his opinion on the advancement of the generation of vaccines for different age groups, the doctor pointed out that it is not yet known when the vaccine will be applied to children who require it, especially now with the return to face-to-face classes.
He explained that there are still no vaccination trials in younger children and for September or October it will be possible to know more about studies made on that age group.
He pointed out that the only vaccine available for children between 12 and 16 years of age is Pfizer, which is the one they have tested in other countries.
Preventive measures for back to school
Dr. Palma explained that the protocols for returning to classes already exist, but each school will have to make its adjustments.
“Schools with resources will be those that can apply the modifications that are required more easily, but in public schools, it is not clear how they will do it,” he said.
He asserted that so far the mask continues to be one of the essential resources to protect ourselves.
“The use of the mask is so far one of the essential resources to protect ourselves. A person who has the vaccines can become infected if they do not wear a mask and they will not get seriously ill, but they will spread the virus ”.
Finally, he invited people who can do it to get vaccinated because that way they will achieve herd immunity sooner.
“People who are not vaccinated or infected cause herd immunity to be delayed and 90% of people are required to be vaccinated to generate it. To reach this percentage of vaccinated people, Mexico will probably take half of next year, ” Dr. Palma Chan concluded.
The Yucatan Times
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