By Hajira Khota
According to researchers from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections in South Africa has resulted in a surge in hospital admissions in children under the age of five.
The majority of the admissions were first noticed in Tshwane, where a substantial increase in cases coincided with the spread of the novel Omicron variant.
In the preceding three waves of Covid-19, children were less seriously impacted than adults, resulting in fewer hospital admissions. As a result, the current data has rung warning bells for parents and guardians.
The trends in admissions for younger children are now being studied by researchers.
Dr Waasila Jassat, a public health specialist at the NICD spoke to Radio Islam International; says that the admissions should not cause concern, noting that there could be several explanations for the rise in children’s admissions, one of which could be an increase in Covid-19 testing.
Although the increase in admissions for younger children could be precautionary, Jassat added that the signs were that they were not more serious than in the past.
She went on to say that none of the children between the ages of 12 and 18 who were admitted had been vaccinated. This age group is presently receiving one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The importance of adult immunisation in protecting children in the household, according to Jassat, is something to keep in mind.
Researchers are currently monitoring the trends in admissions in younger children.
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