Over 50% Mumbai kids have Covid antibodies: Sero-Survey

More than 50% children in Mumbai have Covid-19 antibodies: Sero-survey

A third wave of Covid-19 in the country is widely projected to affect the children

Representative Image. Credit: AFP Photo

More than 50 per cent of the paediatric population in healthcare settings in Mumbai has antibodies to Covid-19, according to a sero-survey conducted ahead of the third wave.

Moreover, it is found that the proportion of the paediatric population having antibodies increased as compared to earlier sero-survey conducted during the first wave and second wave.

The sero-survey of SARS-CoV-2 infection among the paediatric population of Mumbai was conducted by BYL Nair Hospital and Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, both run by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Since the third wave is anticipated to affect children, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and Additional Municipal Commissioner (Western Suburbs) Suresh Kakani directed to conduct a sero-survey on children during the second wave itself – and accordingly it was conducted during 1 April-15 June.

Across 24 wards of Mumbai, a total of 2,176 blood samples were collected from pathology laboratories including 1,283 from Aapli Chikitsa Network and Nair Hospital of BMC and 893 from a network of two private labs.

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“The key findings of this study suggest that more than 50 per cent of the paediatric population in a healthcare setting have already been exposed to SARS-CoV-2,” a BMC official statement said on Monday.

The overall sero-positivity is 51.18 per cent including 54.36 per cent from the public sector and 47.03 per cent from the private sector.  Seropositivity is highest in the age group 10-14 years i. e. 53.43 per cent.  

Taking age into consideration, the Sero-positivity rate of 1 to 4 years is 51.04 per cent, 5 to 9 years is 47.33 per cent, 10 to 14 years is 53.43 per cent, 15 to 18 years is 51.39 per cent.

The overall sero-positivity rate of 1 to 18 years is 51.18 per cent.  

There is a notable increase in the seropositivity in the paediatric population to SARS-CoV-2 in this study as compared to Serosurvey 3 conducted in March 2021 which showed a sero-positivity of 39.4 per cent in the age group of ≤ 18 years which indicates that a significant proportion of children accessing the healthcare services were exposed to the virus during the second wave of Covid-19.  

The study has also suggested targeted health education and awareness about Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

Also read: Covid-19 Wrap-up: Vaccination efforts continue to be priority

According to BMC, IEC should include the use of social media platforms (examples include memes, collaborating with social media influencers, etc.), cartoon advertisements and catchy jingles.  

The sero-survey was conducted jointly by the Department of Microbiology and Department of paediatrics from BYL Nair Hospital.

The investigators from Department of Microbiology are HOD Dr. Jayanthi Shastri; Associate Professor Dr. Sachee Agrawal, House Officer Dr. Gargi Kakani and Professor from paediatrics Department Dr. Surbhi Rathi.  

Under the guidance of Chahal and  Kakani, the survey was assisted by Director (MEMH) and Dean of BYL Nair Hospital Dr. Ramesh Bharmal, Medical Superintendent of Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases Dr. Chandrakant Pawar, HOD, Department of Pathology, BYL Nair Hospital Dr. Kusum Jashnani & Associate Professor Dr. Gayathri Amonkar.

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