Coronavirus mutation: is there excessive risk for children?

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Interviewed by the British press, a London nurse suggested that the new variant of the coronavirus that circulates massively in the country would affect young children the most. Pediatricians wanted to set the record straight and put the numbers in perspective.

The new variant of the coronavirus circulating in the United Kingdom is of great concern, and leads to the dissemination of hasty information that is not always accurate.

More contagious than the previous strain, this variant VIU 202012/01, also called VOC 202012/01 or B.1.1.7, is believed to be partly responsible for the resurgence of the epidemic in the UK and in particular London .

In an interview with the BBC and The Telegraph, Laura Duffe, head of nursing at Londons Kings College Hospital, suggested that young adults and children would be more affected by this variant than by the version of the coronavirus that had been circulating until then. . She said that she saw an explosion in the number of admissions of young adults and children, even though they were "only very little affected in the first wave," even referring to entire rooms full of children with Covid-19.

Broadcast massively in the British and European press, this announcement was quickly denied by the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

"Hospital pediatric wards are usually busy in winter. At the moment we are not seeing significant Covid-19 related pressure in pediatrics in the UK. As cases increase in the population there will be a slight increase in the number of children with Covid-19, but the majority of affected children and young adults do not present symptoms or present a very mild form. ", reassures the RCPCH in a statement published online." The new variant seems to affect all the ages and, at the moment, we do not observe greater severity among children and young adults, "he said.

On its website, the RCPCH has published several statements from pediatricians to this effect, including that of Dr Liz Whittaker, who practices at St Marys Hospital in London. "There are many children testing positive for Covid-19, but fortunately only a small number with severe illness or PIMS (rare inflammatory disease associated with Covid-19), and these are at expected levels - given the London rates. I remain concerned. for my elders, not for my children, "he said.

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