COVID-19: new strains and features of the disease in children

New strains of coronavirus change familiar symptoms. These changes are especially true for children.

At the St. Augustine Children’s Hospital near Bonn, Professor Gerd Horneff, head physician of the clinic, monitors the manifestations of the coronavirus in children suffering from its new strains. Compared to earlier variants, they have completely different symptoms, and therefore the therapy should be different. Professor says:

“This disease mainly causes problems with the gastrointestinal tract and general weakness. Children look like they have blood poisoning, sepsis. They are very sick, need infusions, do not eat or drink, but they do not have respiratory manifestations.”

The most severe forms of diseases that occurred during the first wave of covid, and children sometimes spent weeks in intensive care, no longer exist. Only five patients are currently being treated for COVID-19 in St. Augustine, and the intensive care unit is not overwhelmed and ready to receive new patients. However, Gerd Horneff sees other problems caused not so much by the virus itself as by the pandemic and its attendant circumstances: children are suffering from the restrictions imposed. He tells:

“It should be noted the increase in mental illness. For example, I have never seen so many children suffering from anorexia and getting so seriously ill that they have to go to the hospital, as during this period of the pandemic.”

The hospital has all the conditions for vaccinating children – more than 6,000 vaccinations have been made since December. Of the 5.3 million children aged 5-11 years, almost 20% are vaccinated with the first dose, and among adolescents under 17 years of age, 60% are fully vaccinated.

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