More than 50 percent of the pediatric population in Mumbai healthcare facilities has antibodies to Covid-19, according to a sero survey prior to the third wave.
In addition, the proportion of the pediatric population with antibodies has been shown to increase compared to previous sero-surveys conducted during the first wave and the second wave.
The sero-study for SARS-CoV-2 infection among the pediatric population of Mumbai was conducted by BYL Nair Hospital and Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, both run by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
As the third wave is expected to affect children, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and Additional Municipal Commissioner (Western Suburbs) Suresh Kakani have commissioned a sero-test on children during the second wave itself – and accordingly it performed from April 1 to April 15. June.
In 24 wards of Mumbai, a total of 2,176 blood samples were collected from pathology labs, including 1,283 from Aapli Chikitsa Network and Nair Hospital of BMC and 893 from a network of two private labs.
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“The key findings of this study suggest that more than 50 percent of the pediatric population in a healthcare setting has already been exposed to SARS-CoV-2,” an official statement from BMC said on Monday.
Overall seropositivity is 51.18 percent, including 54.36 percent from the public sector and 47.03 percent from the private sector. The seropositivity is highest in the age group of 10-14 years, namely 53.43 percent.
Taking age into account, the seropositivity rate from 1 to 4 years is 51.04 percent, 5 to 9 years 47.33 percent, 10 to 14 years is 53.43 percent, 15 to 18 years is 51.39 percent.
The overall seropositivity rate from 1 to 18 years is 51.18 percent.
There is a remarkable increase in seropositivity in the pediatric population for SARS-CoV-2 in this study compared to Serosurvey 3, conducted in March 2021, which showed a seropositivity of 39.4 percent in the age group van 18 years, suggesting that a significant proportion of children accessing healthcare were exposed to the virus during the second wave of Covid-19.
The study also suggested that targeted health education and awareness about appropriate Covid-19 behavior are possible.
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According to BMC, IEC should include the use of social media platforms (examples are memes, collaborating with social media influencers, etc.), cartoon ads and catchy jingles.
The serotest was conducted jointly by the Department of Microbiology and the Department of Pediatrics at BYL Nair Hospital.
The researchers of the Department of Microbiology are HOD Dr. Jayanthi Shastri; Associate Professor Dr. Sachee Agrawal, House Officer Dr. Gargi Kakani and professor of the Department of Pediatrics Dr. Surbi Rathi.
Led by Chahal and Kakani, the investigation was assisted by Director (MEMH) and Dean of BYL Nair Hospital Dr. Ramesh Bharmal, Medical Superintendent of Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases Dr. Chandrakant Pawar, HOD, Department of Pathology, BYL Nair Hospital Dr. Kusum Jashnani & Associate Professor Dr Gayatri Amonkar.