New Delhi: As the world still grapples with COVID-19, another infectious disease, Monkeypox, has raised its head. Over 15,000 cases of Monkeypox, endemic to parts of Africa, have been reported in several countries. There have been three cases so far in India.
With the recent detection of Monkeypox in children, there are concerns about the number of diseases that put children at risk of being affected. Two children in the United States have been diagnosed with monkeypox in the United States, health officials announced Friday. The younger age groups in the country are also at risk of diseases such as encephalitis, dengue and swine flu.
In Africa, monkeypox infections in children are more common, and doctors have noted higher proportions of severe cases and deaths in young children.
A matter of concern are:
An increasing number of children are also facing Dengue-induced hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) syndrome in Pune. Doctors said three to four patients (children and adults) with dengue-induced HLH were being treated in major hospitals in Pune earlier this month.
Similarly, cases of dengue in children have also been reported in Karnataka and Telangana.
There has been an increasing number of Japanese encephalitis in Assam. It has risen to 38 this month, an official statement said on Friday. The disease mainly affects children and most adults in endemic countries have natural immunity after childhood infection, but individuals of any age can be affected, according to a report in News18.
According to the WHO, most infections are mild with fever and headache or no apparent symptoms. However, approximately 1 in 250 infections results in severe clinical disease and the incubation period is between 4 and 14 days.
In children, gastrointestinal pain and vomiting may be the dominant early symptoms. Severe illness is characterized by the rapid onset of high fever, headache, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis, and eventually the death. The case fatality rate can reach 30% in people with symptoms of the disease.
There was an upward trend in H1N1 (swine flu) cases in Maharashtra in June. As of June 22, there were over 142 cases of swine flu, with three deaths in Kolhapur and two deaths each in Pune and Thane. Children under 5 years old are at higher risk of contracting the disease, especially those under 2 years old.
According to a report by The Indian Express, doctors have also noted swine flu in the pediatric population. “There is a mixed bag, with children detected with influenza, dengue and hand-foot-mouth disease – which is a mild contagious infection characterized by sores in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet. This season we are seeing a share of H1N1 cases,” said Dr Lalwani, medical director of Bharati Hospital.
Kerala has witnessed the spread of tomato fever, a flu that mainly affects children under 5 years old.
As of last week, a small part of Kollam district had the virus but further spread is possible, officials have warned. While some reports claim that 80 cases of infection have been recorded in the state so far, others go as high as 100. Earlier, in May, the Minister of Health warned the population of the State not to panic as tomato fever is endemic in Kerala. .
What should parents do?
As children remain at risk of waterborne diseases, experts say they need to be kept hydrated. It is advisable to avoid oily and spicy foods during the monsoon and to eat meals rich in vitamin C and other nutrients.