Rakesh Wadhwa:

How does the COVID-19 infection manifest in children and prognosis in most children?


Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan

Most children are not asymptomatic. A very small proportion of them, particularly those who are infants. Like we first 30 days and certainly the first year of life, they seem to be at higher risk. So when you see a distribution of mortality by age group, it starts from the very young children, goes to the lowest to teenagers and then starts picking up and gets the highest in the in the elderly population. So apart from the elderly population these infants are at risk and there's no evidence from the US of Kawasaki syndrome or other sorts of outcomes that were not measured in children What we don't know is the effect of COVID on he children who are undernourished and who have impaired respiratory systems, as they do in India, and may not also be fully vaccinated against all diseases. This is a big unknown for us. We have not had the volume of deaths in India to be able to assess that in children although that happened in newborns. So, it's not like we've not had any newborn that's evolved but we don't really understand this really well.

And it's possible that a lot of COVID related deaths in newborns and children on the one have been miscounted because people don't think it's because of COVID.  And therefore they haven't been tested for COVID and therefore not tied with. What I am worried about is that a level of scientific understanding in our country based on our own data and our own deaths is extremely important.. How much do we know about the science or determinants of COVID deaths in India? Very very little.