Omikron shapes the current corona infection numbers. How dangerous is the virus mutation for children? An expert is confident.
Munich – The Corona variant Omikron is significantly more contagious than previous virus mutations, but is also characterized by a milder course. The findings are relatively fresh, so some question marks remain. In general, also this: What does omicron mean for children?
Corona expert with omicron hope in children
In December there were repeated reports that Omikron was going to meet the youngest of society. “According to everything we know so far, the new Omikron variant affects children much more severely than the previous variants,” said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) on December 10th. “The children become infected more often, and they are also more seriously ill.” In the meantime, however, there are new scientific findings. The good news first: Omikron does not seem more dangerous for children – “according to the current status”, as the pediatric intensive care doctor Jörg Dötsch described in an interview with Die Welt . He sits on the Corona Expert Council of the Federal Government *.
“We have reports from England, South Africa and indirectly from the USA. They show that more children are actually being admitted to the clinics. But in relation to the number of infections it is no more than with Delta, ”said Dötsch. There have recently been reports that there are more children in hospitals in the United States. According to Dötsch, the course of the disease is usually mild, which has also been seen in South Africa. “Most of the infected children in South Africa did not become seriously ill, they often had cold symptoms. Only a few children had to be ventilated. “
School closings? “That mustn’t happen again with Omikron either”
Dötsch, one of a total of 18 Corona experts * who advise the government around Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz * (SPD), is therefore also defending himself against school closings that have been discussed and sometimes feared by teacher representatives. “Even with Omikron, schools cannot be closed again. Not only because of the missed course material and the accompanying illnesses that occur due to social isolation. We are also not allowed to close schools because there is no evidence that pupils should fear serious problems. “
It has also been shown that schools would regulate the pandemic – “by testing students very closely and thus breaking chains of infection,” says Dötsch, President of the German Society for Child and Adolescent Medicine. School closings are currently no longer generally excluded – for example in Bavaria *. As early as January 5th, the state ministers of education want to hold a video conference to discuss the situation in Germany’s classrooms *.
Medical masks instead of FFP2: “Fit better with small faces”
According to the pediatric intensive care physician Dötsch, however, school attendance is still safe. However, it is important to comply with hygiene measures and to wear a mask. The following applies: “The children should wear medical masks that fit better than FFP2 masks on small faces.”
Overall, Dötsch pleaded for vaccination: “The safest protection against Omikron, even for adults, is vaccination, more precisely: the boost after two vaccinations.” Concern about side effects or repeatedly expressed concerns about vaccination damage is unfounded. “In Germany there were individual deaths among children and adolescents that were temporally related to the vaccination. They were all examined pathologically; the vaccination was not the cause of death in any of them. ” (As) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA