HOSPITAL wards in South Africa are crammed with sick children with Covid as the “super mutant” strain of Omicron continues to sweep across the country.
A South African doctor has said more children are being hospitalized with severe Covid symptoms since the Omicrom variant became available in the country.
Dr Rudo Mathivha, head of the ICU at Chris Hani Barahwanath hospital, said the demographic shift meant hospitals quickly filled up with patients again.
She said her hospital is supposed to take in about five to 10 children at a time.
Dr Mathivha told how a 15-year-old had died after rapidly deteriorating after contracting the virus, and a 17-year-old had been admitted to the ICU on a ventilator for Covid-related pneumonia.
It is unclear whether both have an Omicron variant.
Speaking to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the worried doctor said: “The situation is quite worrying. This is not what we have observed with the first wave, second wave and second wave. Tuesday.
“In the past, kids have had Covid infections … and it won’t really let them down, it won’t really send them to the hospital in large numbers to be hospitalized.
“We’re seeing them [children] come with moderate to severe symptoms requiring supplemental oxygen, supportive treatment, and a long hospital stay. “
She added: “What really broke my heart yesterday was a previously healthy 15-year-old, with no disease.
“His two-day history of fever, hospitalization, positive Covid test and worsening condition was literally before our eyes and nothing, no supportive therapy could help him.
“And we lost that patient…this is the first incident [here] of a child with no comorbidities and no pre-existing Covid that I know of. “
She warned that the hospital is filling up with patients too quickly and may not be able to accommodate any more children.
She said: “This is going to be a big problem for us. Our hospitals are not built to accommodate many children. Because children naturally don’t get sick like that.
“We won’t be able to contain them, and I’m not saying this to frighten people.
“I say this to say, all of the precautions we take to interrupt the transmission of Covid, let them be applied to children as well.”
Children 12 and under are not eligible for video games in South Africa, which is currently under the radar of another Covid wave.
On Saturday, the South African government said the Omicron variant was disproportionately affecting children under the age of five, appeasing experts’ view that the strain was “mild”.
Government adviser Waasila Jassat told reporters in Johannesburg, where the virus is widespread, that there had been a “fairly strong increase” in hospitalizations “in all age groups but especially in those underage.”
“The prevalence of the disease among people under the age of five is now the second highest, second only to those over 60,” she said.
New data on Friday showed that children under the age of two now account for 10% of hospital admissions in South Africa, news.com.au reported.
Jassat said the kids appeared to be “more at risk” of Covid but said it was not yet clear whether the spike in admissions would be liked by Omicron.
“When you look at enrollment numbers by age, what we usually see is a large number of enrollments among older people,” she said.
“But during this early resurgence in Tshwane, we see most of the admissions in the 0-2 age group. And we’re seeing a large number of middle-aged admissions. young, about 28 to 38 years old.”
This could be because children under 12 can’t be vaccinated, she said, and because parents are more worried about the new variant making them more likely to send their children to A&E at the first signs. of disease.
“Children have immature immune systems and they’re not vaccinated, so they’re more at risk,” she said.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16948128/south-africa-more-kids-in-hospital-omicron/ Hospital wards are packed with CHILDREN with Covid in South Africa as ‘super mutant’ Omicron soars, doctor says