Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding is always up to date on the latest coronavirus news. Earlier this month he wrote,
I feel that ignoring the risks in kids has been one of the biggest blunders of many Covid denialist and minimizer scientists (after ignoring airborne). (P)oliticians often act too late. Scientists are often too shy to shout from the roof tops early… What you get is inaction by politicians & slow vocalization by scientists until too late. Why did we not realize kids transmitted #SARSCoV2 last year?
He also reminds readers that people of any age — yes, even children — can serve as human incubators in which a new mutation may flourish. Other wise words come from writer Gregory Barber, who suggests framing the SARS-CoV-2 variants as “a series of epidemics within the pandemic.”
Scary for real
The reason for alarm is that the longer the virus is left alone to do as it pleases, the more it takes advantage and transforms into worse versions of itself. Many different variants are circulating, of which five are labeled “of concern” in the U.S. The most troubling ones at the moment seem to be Delta, Gamma, and Alpha. Delta is especially notable for sweeping through areas the seemed to have a pretty good handle on things.
In the most recent India resurgence, and due mainly to Delta, 730 doctors have already succumbed to the contagion. This new, improved COVID is spread faster, causes more severe illness, attacks children and teens, and is responsible for four times as many reinfections as the original virus. It does not give a fig about a single dose of Pfizer vaccine, though it does have some respect for the double shot.
In the United Kingdom, Delta (aka B.1.617.2) accounts for 90% of new cases and an exponential rise in hospitalizations. The government had contemplated full reopening, and then changed its mind and delayed that long-awaited moment for another month. In the U.S., Delta has already become the dominant strain in California and Hawaii, and the rest of the states are expected to follow suit.
Now, what about Gamma?
The so-called Brazil variant, or P.1, appears more eager than its predecessor to kill pregnant women, or at least to make their babies stillborn or premature. To pediatric patients, it is also liable to bring along its partner in crime, multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.
The Brazil variant travels twice as fast as good old-fashioned COVID-19, does not recognize the concept of immunity, and kills a lot of kids. Its devastating effects on the young include severe gastric disorders, hearing impairment, and blood clots that develop into gangrene. Bloomberg.com says,
Given the presence of the Gamma variant in the United States — about 7 percent of Covid-19 cases in the United States can be attributed to this variant — it’s possible that pediatric and newborn Covid-19 cases could soon become more prevalent.
(To be continued…)
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “DrEricDing,” Twitter.com, 06/07/21
Source: “Variant Hunters Race to Find New Strains Where Testing Lags,” Wired.com, 04/09/21
Source: “Covid-19 is killing infants and young children in Brazil,” ClinicalTrialsArena.com, 05/24/21
Source: “Gangrene, Hearing Loss Show Delta Variant May Be More Severe,” Bloomberg.com, 06/07/21
Image by Dennis Sylvester Hurd/Public Domain