The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus among childrenhas increased, especially when it comes to school and preschool age. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), almost 22.000 children and young people under the age of 20 have been infected, 6 of whom have died. Despite the fact that the clinical picture is milder than in adults, epidemiologists advise caution and adherence to measures.
Data from the entity health institutes show that in the Federation of BiH (FBiH), the coronavirus was confirmed in 15.713 children and young people under the age of 20, while in the Republika Srpska (RS) there were 6.280 cases when it comes to children up to 19 years. Five in the FBiH and one in the RS have passed away. Epidemiologists emphasized that the number of patients is much higher and appeal to parents not to send children with symptoms to school.
“As for the clinical picture, they are milder and that is why we have fewer tests and tests are performed less often in children, because they have less developed symptoms compared to adults, so the number of infected children is much higher than reported,” stated Mia Blazevic, Epidemiology Service of the Institute of Public Health of FBiH.
“The fact is that the number of confirmed PCR cases among children is growing and they are mostly school-age children, both in primary and secondary schools. There is a slightly higher percentage among the preschool population,” told Jela Acimovic, an epidemiologist at the RS Institute of Public Health.
The good news is that children recover quickly from symptoms. The fact that they spread the virus to adult family members is worrying, they develop moderate to severe clinical pictures, as doctors warn.
“As for children, they make up 10 to 15 percent of patients in the city area among all those with the positive test result, they have a mild clinical picture, and they are dominated by symptoms of severe colds, headaches, sneezing, mild fever, while symptoms last a day to two,” noted Mirjana Miljkovic, head of the Hygienic and Epidemiological Service of Banja Luka.
”At the Clinic for Children’s Diseases at the University Clinical Center (UCC), 144 children were treated for Covid-19, of which ten percent were on oxygen, and one on a respirator, ” said the head of this clinic.
Epidemiologists advise vaccinating children older than 12, as the best protection against severe clinical pictures. In RS, slightly less than 2.000 children over the age of 12 got the Pfizer vaccine. In the FBiH, vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 should start next week.