The danger of this strain is precisely in its contagiousness, and children are often in rooms where there is a high density of contacts

The danger of this strain is precisely in its contagiousness, and children are often in rooms where there is a high density of contacts

Photo: Nikolai OBEREMCHENKO

The briefing with the participation of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko and head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova took place on Friday evening, January 14. Experts of the highest level reported on what the Russians should prepare for in view of the beginning of a new wave of coronavirus of the new Omicron strain, which, according to experts, will block all previous outbreaks of the disease in power.

“This variant of the virus spreads very quickly to the mucous membranes, which means that a person becomes contagious literally on the very first day, without even suspecting that he has fallen ill,” Anna Popova said at a briefing. – Omicron affects children to a large extent. The danger of this strain is precisely in its contagiousness, and children are often in rooms where there is a high density of contacts. And then they bring it home.

However, it is not yet planned to send schoolchildren and preschoolers from kindergartens to distance learning. Children’s institutions must continue to comply with the recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor in order to avoid the risk of infection: measure the temperature at the entrance, dilute flows, adhere to a special schedule for visiting the canteen, and so on.

Meanwhile, in the United States, where Omicron has already become the dominant strain, doctors are also noticing a serious increase in the incidence of covid among children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 580,000 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in American children in the first week of 2022. That is, the number increased by 78% compared to the previous week (in the last week of December there were 325 thousand). And by almost 200 percent compared to mid-December! But in the United States, children were also vaccinated up to 5 years old!

What can we expect, because vaccination among children has not yet begun. Yes, and only a vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17 is registered.

– There will be a multiple increase in the incidence of omicron among children in Russia, – says Artem Gil, Ph.D. – However, several factors will influence the number of hospitalizations and the workload of children’s covid beds: the rate of spread of the strain and the number of children with concomitant chronic diseases and risk factors. Compared to the United States, it is likely that the increase in hospitalizations is higher among, for example, obese children. As you know, in the United States every fifth child (19-20%) aged 2-19 suffers from morbid obesity – this is approximately 14 million children. While in Russia the prevalence of obesity among children is about 4 times less.

But if it is impossible to achieve rapid weight loss in obese children, then the spread rate of the omicron strain can be reduced. To prevent the accumulation of a large number of people in the premises, the mass character of events. Check ventilation systems in public places. They must be in good working order and function at full capacity. Children at risk and with chronic diseases should be vaccinated. Of course, with the consent of parents and guardians.

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