Covid-19: variant BA.2, Pims … are children more affected by the virus during this fifth wave?

The number of children who tested positive for Covid and were hospitalized would be much higher since the beginning of the fifth wave.

Children more exposed to Covid during fifth wave? In a weekly update released on Friday, March 25, the Department of Education confirmed this 81,424 students tested positive for Covid-19 in seven days. At the end of the week, 3,080 classes were closed in France due to virus circulation.

But a month earlier, the ministry reported 1,584 cases of infection among students and only 72 closed classes. So there seems to be an increase in cases among the youngest.

The relevant BA.2 variant?

The BA.2 variant worries specialists as it appears to be the most contagious variant to have emerged since the pandemic began. The symptoms of this new variant are severe fatigue, cough, fever, headache, sore throat, runny nose, nausea and vomiting, but also muscle pain.

As explained to our colleagues from La Dépêche du Midi, Professor Antoine Flahaut, Epidemiologist and Director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, “Young people tend to be more likely to be infected with respiratory viruses due to the high level of promiscuity of their school environment, which occurs in closed and often poorly ventilated places. The BA.2 variant is no exception to this rule, but being a more contagious variant than the previous ones makes it even more prone to spread among young people.”

Increase in the number of cases of pims

Public Health France, in its latest report of February 24, notes “a very significant increase in the number of Pims cases since early December 2021 and this number remains high in early 2022”. In detail, 226 cases of Pims related to Covid were identified between November 21, 2021 and February 20, 2022, i.e. more than a quarter of all Pims cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Pims, or pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, is a serious complication characterized by “high fever, marked deterioration in general health and digestive distress,” according to the High Health Authority.

Increase in hospital admissions

The number of children who tested positive for Covid and were hospitalized would be much higher since the beginning of the fifth wave. end of January e.g. More than 1,150 children have been hospitalized for Covid, while according to Franceinfo this number had never exceeded 200 before. As of March 24, 501 children were still hospitalized.

But beware, people under the age of 20 hospitalized on that date made up just 2% of the 20,000 people hospitalized with Covid. It is worth remembering that these figures take into account all hospitalized patients with the disease, even if they are not hospitalized for this reason.

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