Some evidence shows children could be COVID-19 spreaders: ICMR

Published: 28 October, 2020 09:13 IST | PTI | New Delhi

ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said that overall the figure in India is that below the age of 17 years, only 8 per cent are COVID-19 positive

Children travelling with their parents in an autorickshaw wearing face mask as a preventive measure against the COVID-19. Pic/AFP
Children travelling with their parents in an autorickshaw wearing face mask as a preventive measure against the COVID-19. Pic/AFP

There is some evidence which shows that children who were earlier thought to be protected against coronavirus infection can be "spreaders, rather than super-spreaders", ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday.

Speaking on the coronavirus infection spread in the country among children, Bhargava said that overall the figure in India is that below the age of 17 years, only 8 per cent are COVID-19 positive.

"Below five years, the figure would probably be less than a per cent but then we can come back with a figure for this," he said.

In response to a question over surge in cases among children in Mizoram, there are 315 active coronavirus cases in the state as on date.

Over Kawasaki disease and presumably a link with COVID-19, Bhargava said India so far has not reported any cases of Kawasaki disease among COVID-19 patients.

Kawasaki is an auto-immune disease that affects children who are less than five years of age and presents with fever, Thrombocytosis and a condition in which the arteries of the heart become dilated and aneurysm. So this is a rare condition which affects more males than females. The disease is more common in the US and less common in India, Bhargava said at a press briefing.

"This has been described with COVID-19 in different parts of the world. I don't think we have had any experience of Kawasaki with COVID-19 in India so far. It is a very rare condition,” he said.

"Having said that we have to remember that it affects small children and the arteries of the heart get dilated and clots can form in that and it can lead to heart attacks and can also be harmful for the child," he added.

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