Corona risk in children: Delta variant more contagious, but less fatal

Corona risk in children
All clear: Delta variant is more contagious, but less deadly

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The new delta variant ensures an increase in the corona numbers. Contrary to initial assumptions, however, the number of severe courses in children and adolescents has not increased.

The number of corona infections in Great Britain has been rising again for a few weeks. The delta variant has spread widely. Their share of new infections is now more than 90 percent. Especially in children and adolescents, the mutation of the virus causes more severe courses than the previous variants, it has been said so far. The statements of the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach have recently fueled the debate. On Monday (June 28th, 2021), he asked the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) to revise their restricted recommendation for vaccinations of children against the Coronavirus to reconsider.

All-clear from paediatricians

So far, however, the fear has not been confirmed. On the contrary: According to the Secretary General of the German Society for Child and Adolescent Medicine, Burkhard Rodeck, the currently rapidly spreading delta virus variant is probably less dangerous in terms of mortality than other coronavirus variants such as the time reported citing the DPA.

The variant is about 60 percent more contagious, said Rodeck at an expert hearing in the Bundestag on the subject of schools in the pandemic. As far as mortality is concerned, however, it is to be classified among the other mutations. At the same time, Rodeck also emphasized that the data situation for children is still limited, as the data are preliminary from Great Britain. Increased hospital admissions of children as a result of a delta virus infection have not yet been found there. For Germany, one has to wait until the data situation is sufficient to really assess the danger of the delta variant in children.

Pool PCR tests in schools and daycare centers?

Rodeck referred to findings from Austria, according to which the common rapid antigen tests in children who have been infected but have no symptoms often do not indicate an infection.

The chief physician at the Christian Children’s Hospital in Osnabrück therefore recommends PCR tests. “The pool tests have the great advantage – let me put it casually – that all the students in a class spit into a large cup. It is not very time-consuming and everyone can do it.” A PCR test is then carried out with this material: If this is negative, all students in the class are negative. If it is positive, it must be tested individually, writes the time, citing the DPA.

Stiko continues to recommend vaccination for children and adolescents only to a limited extent

Due to the current data situation, the Stiko continues to adhere to its recommendation to vaccinate only children and adolescents from twelve to 17 years with a special risk for themselves or loved ones.