Covid-19 has affected more children under 9 years old this summer than pensioners over 80.
"It may have affected fewer elderly people because they’ve stayed at home whereas children have socialised more," said Regional Committee of Infectious Diseases Spokesperson, Dr Javier Arranz.
483 paediatric Covid-19 cases were reported between July and September 10, according to the latest Epidemiology Report, but "90% of the children have contracted the disease from a responsible adult," said Paediatrician Edelmiro Vergés, Economic Coordinator of the Balearic Society of Paediatrics, or SOPEBA.
"Most are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and in many cases the family does not recognise them as symptoms of Covid-19,” says Dr Arranz.
Dr Vergés has some sound advise for parents who are sending their kids back to school.
“The child has to be careful with his grandparents, not with his classmates. The fear at schools is not the minors, it's the effect they may have on adults they come into contact with,” says Dr Vergés.
Both Doctors say the coronavirus symptoms are different in each age group.
"Respiratory distress is more typical in adults whereas children usually have diarrhea and vomiting and a cough or sore throat," says Dr Vergés.
“The little ones and the older ones present symptoms that are not typical and that’s a problem because it makes it difficult to identify them," adds Dr Arranz.
For example in Nursing Homes there are other symptoms such as increased disorientation whereas amongst children the manifestation is more gastrointestinal. Finally there are the abrupt, infrequent and very important symptoms, with inflammatory symptoms, but I don't think we've had any in children under 10, although we have seen young people in the ICU.”
Dr Vergés pointed out that children aged 10-15 sometimes develop the same symptoms as adults.
Kids have been back at school for a week and Dr Verges says the outlook is positive, but stressed that giving face-to-face classes in schools in isolated areas where there’s a high incidence of Covid-19 is reckless.
"We made exemplary confinement and absurd confinement, as disorganised as possible,” he said. “Let's learn from experience. “I can't imagine that schools are now opening in areas like Madrid, but here we have them in isolated neighbourhoods. You have to be consistent if you want to be effective."
Dr Arranz pointed out that in those neighbourhoods there is no strict confinement, people can perform a series of activities outside their homes and one of them is to go to school.
Son Gotleu has been under lockdown for a week and in that time the number of positive coronavirus cases has fallen from 66 to 44.
Dr Arranz believes the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is stabilising in the Balearics.
"Surely with the new restrictive measures the number of cases will start to decrease and when the rules are lifted, they will increase again, he said. "The next waves will probably be similar to this one; it's hard to predict when it will arrive but it will probably be before the end of the year. "
On Friday, the Ministry of Health confirmed 200 new Covid-19 infections in the Balearic Islands and 2,360 active positives.
370 people are hospitalised, 63 are in critical condition in the ICU and one patient died, taking the total number of fatalities to 277 since the pandemic began.
8 new infections were confirmed amongst Nursing Home residents and there are now 256 active cases. 115 of them are in hospital, 13 are from Sèniors de Sant Joan Residence and 39 are from Bell Entorn de Sóller.
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