Coronavirus in children. Dr Lidia Stopyra: The prognosis is not optimistic

– Every day we see five or ten children infected with coronavirus. At the moment that there is no case of a child infected with Omikron. Due to the fact that the children had a break in stationary education for nearly three weeks, there are now fewer infections in this group. We still have vacancies in the hospital. The bed base is secured. However, we expect that the number of coronavirus infections will increase significantly in the near future. The worst is yet to come, because the period of especially contagious for children is approachingand – pointed out Dr. Stopyra.

She emphasized that children are as “spreading the disease” as adults. – This is a particularly spontaneous group, it is extremely difficult to maintain the sanitary regime in school (wearing masks, keeping distance). Besides, this is a group that transmits the virus a lot, and it is little vaccinated. It was only three weeks ago that children over 5 years of age were vaccinated, so the second dose of the preparation is still ahead of them – she explained.

The specialist noted that the coronavirus turned out to be very contagious also for the youngest. – Particularly contagious for children, it turned out Delta. Therefore, I am afraid that Omicron it could be even more dangerous for children and cause a huge increase in infections, said the pediatrician.

She also pointed to one more factor that will have an impact on the increase in hospitalization in the near future. – We haven’t really had the flu this season. A year ago, flu infections disappeared due to lockdown, and before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, flu was the worst cases between January and March. All pediatric wards were occupied at that time. Now, when we additionally have a high infectivity of the coronavirus, unfortunately the prognosis for children is not optimistic. The number of infections will be enormous, said Dr. Stopyra.

We wrote more about the overlapping of the flu epidemic and the next wave of the COVID-19 epidemic HERE.

– We are no longer able to stop what happened. We will not stop the drastic increase in infections that will follow. The situation in hospitals can be dramatic and it affects the whole society – she added.

She noted that the problem in Poland is still low vaccination coverage, which – in her opinion – was unfortunately caused by the high activity of vaccine opponents. “They are responsible for the vaccine hysteria we are currently dealing with, for spreading fake news about vaccines. All the children we hospitalize are unvaccinated. We will pay for people not wanting to get vaccinated,” she said.

The specialist emphasized that in countries where vaccination coverage is high, the high infectivity of the coronavirus is not an obstacle. – This means a large number of cases, but not a large number of hospitalizations and deaths. In Poland, the situation is dire when it comes to the number of people with COVIS-19 who require hospital care. If the vaccination coverage in our country was at an appropriate level, we would not be afraid of further mutations the doctor pointed out. – It’s not a problem that someone will test positive, have covid like a cold and have to stay home for a few days. The problem is that some people suffer from this disease hard, hospitals are overcrowded with covid patients, which puts a burden on the health care system, including limiting other patients’ access to necessary treatment – explained Dr. Stopyra.

– As a result of the next wave, we will have to deal with a huge overload of the health service. We are not able to prevent it anymore – assessed the doctor. – In the context of the flu I have already mentioned, if this year, in addition to covid, patients also begin to suffer from influenza on a massive scale, they will all be hospitalized at the same time. The accumulation of these diseases will lead to a drama – she added.

– The most terrifying thing is that children with COVID-19 and the flu will go to hospitals, and even worse, they can die from diseases for which there are vaccines – she said.

Dr. Stopyra argued that there are no contraindications for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. She also advised adults to get vaccinated with the third dose as soon as possible. – We observe that people who took the second dose more than 6 months ago start to get sick. That is why it is so important to get vaccinated now with a third booster dose, she recommended.

The doctor also said that with the increase in infections expected in the coming weeks, she would expect a decision on further restrictions, enforcing covid passports and wearing face masks. This – in her opinion – would save human lives and would not lead to the collapse of the health service. – If someone decides not to vaccinate, they must not put others at risk. The introduction of a lockdown for the unvaccinated would increase the number of vaccinations, thus increasing our safety, assessed Dr. Stopyra.

– In this context, statements may also be made that vaccinated people also infect. Yes, an infected person can also infect, not only that – it is more likely that the infection will pass asymptomatically, which is why you need to wear masks. In the case of schools, it is admittedly much more difficult to enforce such requirements, which is why immunization of children should be carried out as soon as possible – she added.

– Is many people who believe they will pass COVID-19 infection mildly. This can be compared, for example, to driving a car – we believe that we will reach our destination happily and we do not think about the fact that we may have an accident, even though we know that such things are happening. I understand that someone believes they can avoid severe disease in this entire pandemic, but with a safe vaccine we’ve been waiting for with great hope, at a time when billions of people around the world are getting vaccinated, no I understand that there are still people who are afraid to vaccinate. It is for me absolutely inexplicable and irrational. We have vaccines, safe vaccines and vaccinations we can control the COVID-19 pandemic “- appealed the specialist in infectious diseases.

About Peter Wilson

In love with technology, with an eye towards smartphones, he does not disdain any activity linked to the Nerd world. TV series, movies, manga, anime, and comics (Marvel addicted) are the order of the day.

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