Parents and Children Beware! New Strain of Covid-19

Parents and Children Beware! New Strain of Covid-19 Parents and Children Beware! New Strain of Covid-19 Parents and Children Beware! New Strain of Covid-19

Many parents are probably worried about the spread of COVID-19 that has come back again because the virus already mutated until a new species is able to dodge immunity better than the previous ones. Recently, the Omicron BA.2.75 has caused a large outbreak worldwide, but, at the same time, humans immune systems became so strong that the infection gradually decreased. However, when the virus mutated again, weakening the original immune system. Therefore, another outbreak reemerged. Also, we have to “Watch Out! Protect the Newborn from COVID-19”

The new strain of the COVID-19 virus that is currently spreading in Thailand belongs to the XBB.1.16 one. An outbreak of this new virus has been found in many other countries, particularly in India. This new kind of virus reproduces itself better than before, so it can spread quickly despite mild symptoms.

The symptoms of the XBB.1.16 strain were not as severe and medically resistant as before. When children are infected with the virus, symptoms are similar to the common cold, namely fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat. Nevertheless, children might suffer from pink eye more often than they did before. Sometimes, this virus might cause severe symptoms in people of high risks.

The people of high risks are pregnant women, people over 60 years old and those with 7 congenital diseases, including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic renal disease, stroke, obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

There are several ways to prevent babies from the COVID-19 infection. Parents can follow the instructions below:

  1. Always wear a face mask when going to a place of many people;
  2. Wash children’s hands regularly and prevent them from using their hands to touch face and putting them in the mouth;
  3. Get the COVID-19 vaccination at least once a year. At present, bivalent vaccine as a booster is approved for children aged 6 months and older, but children should get it at least 3 months from the last dose or after the last infection; and
  4. Get the influenza vaccine once a year to prevent joint infection of the COVID-19 virus and influenza, which can cause severe symptoms.

Basic ways to take care of babies in case they are infected with the COVID-19 virus

  1. Give children an antipyretic when they have a high fever;
  2. Give children a cold or nasal congestion medicine according to symptoms;
  3. Allow children to have sufficient rest;
  4. Let children drink plenty of water;
  5. Separate children from others; and 6. Take children to a doctor in case of high fever, a lot of coughs, difficulty in breathing, panting, exhaustion, eating less, or lethargic.

A heartfelt thank to Piyarat ‘Ann’ Lertbannaphong, M.D.

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