Characteristics of Children Exposed to Omicron, Record the Symptoms!

The Omicron variant is confirmed as the dominant variant in various countries, including Indonesia. It’s not uncommon for parents to worry about Omicron’s influence on their children. In fact, a cough or cold can make them overthinking!

So, what are the characteristics of children infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19? Here are some of the recognizable symptoms!

1. What is being attacked is the upper airway

Characteristics of Children Exposed to Omicron, Record the Symptoms!sick child illustration (unsplash.com/Vitolda Klein)

Data from infected adults show that the Omicron variant is not as severe as the Delta variant. However, symptoms are still more severe than the common cold, especially in unvaccinated individuals.

“Omicron tends to attack the upper airways more than the lower airways. We see many children coming in with very severe sore throats, coughs, nasal congestion, and fever,” says Eric Ball, MD, pediatrician from Providence Mission Hospital in Orange CountyUnited States of America, quotes Verywell Family.

2. Some children have difficulty breathing

Characteristics of Children Exposed to Omicron, Record the Symptoms!illustration of a fussy child having difficulty breathing (pixabay.com/Ben_Kerckx)

Just like adults, the symptoms of the Omicron variant in children are similar to those of a cold, but in a more severe version. Some children have high fever and difficulty breathing due to COVID-19 infection.

In fact, many children have symptoms such as: croup. Reported Mayo Clinic, croup refers to an upper respiratory tract infection that blocks breathing and causes a characteristic cough that sounds like barking.

“Some of these children need to go to the hospital or receive special treatment to help them breathe more comfortably,” Eric said.

3. Children’s nasal passages are relatively small so they are easily blocked

Characteristics of Children Exposed to Omicron, Record the Symptoms!illustration of a child’s nose (pixabay.com/robertofoto)

According to Andrew Pavia, head of the pediatric infectious disease division of University of Utah Health, USA, the Omicron variant does not infect lung cells like the previous variant. The fewer infected lung cells, the less severe the symptoms.

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However, children’s nasal passages are relatively small, making them more easily blocked. That’s why children with upper respiratory tract infections need extra attention than adults, citing nature.

Also Read: Omicron vs Delta Variant COVID-19, Which is Worse?

4. Children have the potential to develop long COVID and MIS-C

Characteristics of Children Exposed to Omicron, Record the Symptoms!sick child illustration (unsplash.com/Aditya Romansa)

Children recovering from acute Omicron infection may develop long COVID whose symptoms persist for months or have a rare condition called MIS-C, which is a multisystem inflammatory system in children.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that MIS-C causes inflammation of the heart, lungs, kidneys, digestive organs, brain, skin, and eyes. According to Michael Absoud, women’s and children’s health specialist from King’s College LondonUK, MIS-C symptoms usually develop about 2–4 weeks after infection.

Based on a study published in Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal in 2021, MIS-C will occur in a small proportion, which is less than 0.1 percent. Meanwhile, symptoms long COVID The most common symptoms experienced by children are fatigue, difficulty concentrating, headaches, stomachaches, and sleep disturbances.

5. Fortunately, children over the age of 6 can be vaccinated

Characteristics of Children Exposed to Omicron, Record the Symptoms!illustration of child vaccination (pexels.com/CDC)

Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI) has issued recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6-11 years. Vaccination for this age group has been started since last December 14.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Health on its official website, the number of vaccination targets has reached 26.5 million children. The type of vaccine used in children is Sinovac because it has Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which is administered twice with an interval of at least 28 days.

Vaccines can be obtained at health centers, hospitals or other health care facilities, both government and private. In addition, vaccines can also be obtained at vaccination service posts and vaccination centers.

“This is really done because we want to accelerate the vaccination of all residents in Indonesia and also prevent the transmission of COVID-19,” said dr. Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, Plt. Director General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health.

Also Read: Virus Mutation Increases Risk of Reinfection with COVID-19