Kids 5 to 14 Account for Highest Number of COVID Cases in Europe, Delta Still Dominant: WHO

The World Health Organization reported Tuesday that European kids ages 5 to 14 now have the best charges of COVID-19 within the area, and an infection charges might improve from each the omicron and delta variants.

According to The World Health Organization’s Europe workplace, in sure areas COVID-19 was current two to 3 instances extra in kids than within the common inhabitants. The group reported that the omicron variant has added 432 confirmed circumstances to the area nonetheless battling the delta variant.

Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Europe regional director warned not solely concerning the dangers of youngsters getting sick, however spreading the virus to their family members throughout vacation breaks.

“As school holidays approach, we must also acknowledge that children contaminate their parents and grandparents at home, with a 10 times increased risk for these adults to develop severe disease, be hospitalized or die when non-vaccinated. The health risks extend beyond the children themselves,” Kluge mentioned.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the chief medical advisor for the Biden Administration mentioned the brand new omicron COVID-19 variant appears to extra extremely transmissible than the delta variant. Fauci additionally advised the Agence France-Presse that omicron is “clearly highly transmissible”, however “almost certainly is not more severe than delta.”

Children on carousel
Europe reported Tuesday that kids ages 5 to 14 now have the best charges of COVID-19 within the area, threatened to extend from each the omicron and delta variants. Children, some carrying face masks, get pleasure from a carousel experience at a Christmas honest in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.
Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

Kluge additionally argued that vaccine mandates needs to be “an absolute last resort,” and mentioned that COVID-19 deaths stay “significantly below previous peaks.” But he mentioned that coronavirus circumstances and deaths have greater than doubled within the final two months within the 53-country area stretching to central Asia.

“The delta variant remains dominant across Europe and Central Asia, and we know that the COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in reducing severe disease and deaths from it,” he advised reporters from WHO Europe headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. “It is yet to be seen how and whether the latest COVID-19 variant of concern, omicron, will be more transmissible, or more or less severe.”

Kluge urged international locations to “protect children and the schools” amid the speedy improve in circumstances among the many younger within the area. Children have tended to face much less extreme circumstances than extra weak populations like older individuals, well being care employees and folks with weaker immune programs.

WHO’s European area has the worldwide epicenter of the pandemic for weeks, accounting for 70 p.c of circumstances and 61 p.c of deaths worldwide in line with the U.N. well being company’s weekly epidemiological report issued final week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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