A sero survey conducted on a paediatric population of 2,176 in Mumbai has found that 51.18 per cent of children have been exposed to Covid-19, with most remaining asymptomatic. This indicates that the severity of the infection continues to remain low among children.
Kasturba Hospital and Nair Hospital in Mumbai collected samples from the 2,176 children, who were medically examined for other illnesses in public and private laboratories.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation undertook the survey from April 1 to June 15 with the help of the hospitals.
While 1,283 samples were collected from BMC centres that offer free diagnostic facilities, 893 were collected from two private labs. More samples were from slums than non-slums areas.
Maximum seropositivity (53.43 per cent) was found in the 10-14 age group, for which at least 560 samples were collected. This is followed by the 15-18 age group (51.39 per cent). These two groups also venture out to play more than the 0-10 age group. Seropositivity means number of those who test positive for antibodies against Covid-19 – its rate stood at 51.04 per cent in the 1-4 year age group and 47.33 per cent in the 5-9 age group.
“Immunity in children is pretty good, even if they are exposed to the virus, they are able to bear severe infection,” said Dr Jayanthi Shastri, head of microbiology in Nair hospital.