Health

Increased Outbreak of Diseases Expected in Children as Schools Reopen

outbreak of diseases in children
Image: Tumisu (pixabay.com)

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many countries had chosen to shut down all schools and educational institutes in order to cut down the risk of the virus spread. However, experts are reporting an increased risk of an outbreak of diseases in children now as many states in the US are reopening schools against the advice of the medical community.

As children as heading back to schools around the country, there has been a noted increase in the number of coronavirus infections in children. Though research has shown that the virus is not as harmful in children, who also tend to have fewer chances of having a severe form of the infection, they can easily spread the virus to other people around them.

In fact, a study showed that children may actually carry more coronaviruses in their throat, mouth, lungs, and nose in comparison with adults and easily transmit it to parents, school staff, teachers, and relatives. Therefore, the reopening of schools puts a large portion of the population at risk of the coronavirus infection.

Although children may be at a lower risk of having severe coronavirus and may not have as many complications, experts have highlighted another expected danger that is likely to cause other health problems.

When the current health crisis started, people were advised to avoid going to public spaces including hospitals. However, it was also strongly recommended that people who suffer from serious health conditions or are on medication should hesitate to visit a doctor and the previous advice is for those with minor problems.

Read also: Coronavirus May Cause Lifelong Damage to the Heart Health 

Regardless of the advice to continue treatment and hospital visits for people with serious health issues, experts noted that there had been nationwide drops in elective surgeries, medical procedures, appointments and general checkups, and even sales of certain medication.

The fear of contracting the coronavirus also kept people from getting fundamental vaccinations for children that protect from multiple health conditions including measles and whooping cough. As a result, many of the children returning to schools this year are unlikely to be vaccinated.

According to a survey held by Orlando Health, around two-thirds of the parents are still delaying visits to the doctor for their children’s vaccination due to the possible chance of exposure to the coronavirus. Overall, it has been estimated that pediatrician visits in hospitals have gone down by fifty to seventy percent.

This will further pave the way for the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases among the children. Some may even develop a serious form of the specific disease they contract and need hospitalization and immediate medical care.

Consequently, the start of fall this year may bring a big number of other problems for the health care system and hospitals as there will likely be increased cases of the coronavirus infection along with many other issues.

The lack of vaccination and the risk of prevalence of diseases that have been previously overcome pose a bigger threat of ending the herd immunity built by years of vaccination in the country.

Even with around ninety-percent rates of vaccination, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that there had been outbreaks of illnesses such as measles in children. The lowered rate can lead to an outbreak of diseases in children and a separate epidemic.

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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