A sero survey, conducted amid fears of third Covid wave, has revealed that over 50% Mumbai’s pediatric population has antibodies.

Sero Survey of More Than 2,000 Mumbai Children Shows Over 50 Per Cent Have Covid-19 Antibodies

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Tuesday, June 29, 2021 11:30 AM IST
Sero Survey of More Than 2,000 Mumbai Children Shows Over 50 Per Cent Have Covid-19 AntibodiesChildren (Credit: Unsplash)
  • The sero survey performed from 1 April to 15 June in Mumbai reveals that 51.18 per cent of children under 18 years of age have antibodies against the coronavirus.

A paediatric sero-survey conducted in Maharashtra’s Mumbai has revealed that 51.18 per cent of the children under the age of 18 have antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 caused disease. The findings were revealed after the civic body-run BYL Nair Hospital and Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (KMDL) performed the survey from 1 April to 15 June.

According to a press release from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), for the study 2, 176 blood samples were evaluated, and the findings revealed that the proportion of children with antibodies had grown since the previous sero-survey—which is carried out to determine the percentage of the population that is infected with a disease and it also showcases asymptomatic instances. The samples were collected from those children who were medically examined for other diseases in private and public laboratories.

It was said that 893 samples were gathered from two private labs, and 1,283 samples were collected from BMC centres that offer free diagnostic services. According to the press release, the 10 to 14 age group had the highest seropositivity—53.43 per cent. The 15 to 18 age group comes in second with 51.39 per cent. These two age groups represent the group of children who go out and play more than the 0 to 10-year-olds.

In this case, seropositivity refers to the percentage of individuals who test positive for antibodies to Covid-19; it was 51.04 per cent in the 1 to 4 year age group and 47.33 per cent in the 5 to 9 year age group. Additionally, it was said that according to the results of a sero-survey conducted in March this year, the positivity rate among those under the age of 18 was 39.4 per cent. Dr Jayanthi Shastri, head of microbiology in Nair hospital, said: “Immunity in children is pretty good, even if they are exposed to the virus, they are able to bear severe infection”.

The local administration stated that the decision to carry out the survey among Mumbai’s paediatric population was made over fears of a possible third wave of coronavirus pandemic in India that is expected to affect mostly the children. As per the BMC, this was the third sero-survey since the Covid-19 pandemic started. The latest study has suggested targeted health education and awareness of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. The civic body said that Information, Education & Communication (IEC) should use social media platforms—for example, collaboration with social media influencers—catchy jingles and cartoon advertisements to spread information.

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