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COVID-19 Cases on the Rise: Look Out for These Symptoms in Adults & Kids

Experts explain what to do if kids and adults start showing COVID like symptoms.

Published
Fit
5 min read
COVID-19 Cases on the Rise: Look Out for These Symptoms in Adults & Kids
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Surging cases of COVID-19 in some states in India has once again put people on alert.

This time, especially in Delhi NCR, the number of children getting infected has been higher than in previous waves.

Although the severity of COVID in children has been low so far, infections can rapidly spread among them, considering most kids in India are still unvaccinated.

All the doctors that we spoke to said masking should continue to be strictly followed.

Here's what experts told FIT about symptoms of COVID in kids, how to prevent infection and what measures to take in case of infections

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Dr Satish Kaul, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, says about the rising number of cases in the last few days, "high fever lasts for 2-3 days, followed by cold and cough for 2-3 days. But after 5-6 days, their health usually starts improving. This is mostly school and college kids. There have been fewer cases in adults in comparison."

"The cases have increased. After the last COVID wave, we did not get to see COVID patients in OPD but now patients are coming daily."
Dr Satish Kaul, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram

On the other hand, Dr Maninder Singh Dhaliwal, Associate Director of Paediatrics, Medanta Gurugram, told FIT, “along with COVID, other infections are also increasing in children and this is not surprising, because children are coming out of their homes and going to schools after 2 years."

According to experts, the true number of cases is likely to be higher as many people are using home testing kits and positive cases are not being detected or reported," said Dr Dhaliwal.

"We are also seeing hospitalizations along with an increase in cases of COVID-19, but this is mostly restricted to people with pre-existing illnesses and comorbidities," he added.

"We have been seeing more cases in children this time than in adults" Dr Tushar Tayal, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Narayana Hospital in Gurugram, also told FIT.

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"We are not seeing symptoms of Delta in these increased cases. There has been a difference in symptoms in children and in adults. High fever is more common in children. This could be because they are unvaccinated.
Dr Satish Kaul, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram

There is no clarity on how widespread Omicron's subtypes, specifically BA.2, are in India, but experts say it is less likely to lead to an increase in serious illnesses and deaths, even as new infections continue to rise.

"These cases are spreading rapidly in Delhi NCR. Which variant is behind this will be known only after genome sequencing is done by the government," said Dr Kaul.

"It seems to be a sub-variant of Omicron itself and this time the population is affected which is not vaccinated. Government of India should do genome sequencing at the earliest and in large numbers," he added.

COVID Symptoms in Adults

Fever and cold and cough are the main symptoms of COVID.

(Photo: iStock)

These are some symptoms of rising COVID cases:

  • Fever

  • Sore throat

  • Cold and cough

  • Upset stomach

  • Gastroenteritis problem

  • Weakness

  • Tiredness

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What to Do if You Have These Symptoms?

Contact your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. Try to self-isolate at home and keep your distance from others so you don't spread the infection.

Take these precautions:

  • Take the medicine prescribed by the doctor on time

  • Rest at home

  • Avoid contact with others

  • Stay hydrated (drink lots of water, juice, coconut water, ORS, soup)

  • Have a balanced diet

  • Keep your fever in check

  • Keep checking oxygen saturation

  • Gargle with salt water in case of sore throat

COVID Symptoms in Kids

COVID symptoms in kids can be different from adults.

(Photo: iStock)

“In COVID, children tend to have high fever only for the first 2 days. On the third day, it subsides and on the fourth day the child starts feeling fine. This does not happen in other ongoing viral infections," says Dr Maninder Dhaliwal.

Here are some symptoms of COVID that doctors are recording in children in the last few months.

  • High fever in the first 2-3 days (Over 102o C)

  • Sore throat

  • Sneezing

  • Cold and cough

  • Diarreaoh

  • Stomach pain

  • Gastroenteritis problem

"It (BA.2) is more like Omicron rather than Delta as hospitalisations are still low. But, hospitalisation have been relatively higher in children who are also suffering from some other comorbidities."
Dr Maninder Singh Dhaliwal, Associate Director, Pediatrics, Medanta Hospital, Gurugram

Children suffering from serious diseases like cancer, thalassemia, diabetes, leukaemia, HIV are particularly at a higher risk. Take special care of them.

"What will be the long term effects of COVID on children, no one knows yet," said Dr Satish Kaul.

What Should You Do When Children Start Showing Symptoms?

COVID symptoms in kids are generally similar to other viral infections. So, it can be difficult to tell if it's COVID just by the symptoms.
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"In such situations, do not start treating the child for COVID without consulting a doctor first,” says Dr Maninder Singh Dhaliwal.

According to Dr Dhaliwal, here's what to do if you notice COVID like symptoms in kids.

  • Contact your doctor

  • Keep them hydrated (water, juice, coconut water, ORS, soup)

  • Don't let the fever rise beyond 102o C

  • To keep the fever down, try sponging or putting a wet cloth strip on the child's forehead

  • Keep checking their oxygen saturation

  • Do not overdress the child when he has a fever

  • In case of sore throat, make them gargle with salt water

  • Feed them nutritious food

Do-it-yourself COVID testing kits can also be used at home. But it must be noted that these have a tendancy of throwing up false negatives. It is advicable to consult a doctor in case of persistant or worsening symptoms.

To see the oxygen level of 0-2 year old children, the correct way is to check the pulse oximeter by placing it on the toe of the sleeping child.

What to Keep In Mind While Sending Children to School?

Dr Dhaliwal says, “children must wear masks, but they should not be N95 masks. Wearing a 2-layer cotton mask in this heat would be perfect. Do not send the child to school if he has a cold, cough, fever or isn't feeling well. With this, not only COVID, but other infections will also come under control."

When kids go to school,

  • Make them wear cotton cloth masks

  • Make sure they have a couple of extra masks on hand

  • Enforce good hand hygiene, and frequent handwashing

  • Pack lunch and a water bottle for them

  • Instruct them to not share food and water with anyone

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from fit

Topics:  coronavirus   COVID-19   Omicron 

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