STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Dr Anuj Bhatti has said that it is the foremost duty of the mother and close relatives having young children or a new born baby around to take extra precautions and adopt COVID appropriate behaviour. Guiding further, Dr Bhatti said a COVID infected child can develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), a condition which triggers inflammation in different body parts of child, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs can develop. It is thus advised that if a child is suffering from high grade fever for more than three days, is not eating well, starts vomiting, not breathing naturally, has bluish discolouration of body parts, has sunken eyes or dry lips, and his/ her oxygen saturation level dips below 94, has conjunctivitis or pain in neck, stomach ache, one must immediately consult a doctor telephonically, or through eSanjeevani telemedicine facility. ‘If a child displays symptoms of COVID, get the child tested for COVID and treated accordingly’, advised Dr Bhatti. “Transmission in young children can happen in two ways- Vertical transmission or Horizontal transmission. While there is not enough evidence to support the theory of vertical transmission, in which an unborn could catch COVID while in womb; the horizontal transmission, transmission post birth, is usually observed” he added. Since a baby can’t be separated from its mother, the mother has to keep respiratory hygiene at all times, he said. ‘A healthy, asymptomatic COVID positive mother can breastfeed her child while wearing a mask. In case a mother is symptomatic and not well, it is preferred that she collect her milk in a vessel and later some other healthy caregiver feed the same to the baby. If this is not possible, the mother must take extra precautions, like wearing a double mask and sensitizing herself before feeding the baby’, he informed. Elaborating on the child and mother care facility made available amid COVID pandemic, he said routine deliveries of COVID negative mothers are being done at SMGS Hospital while COVID positive mothers are admitted at Maternal & Childcare Hospital, Gandhi Nagar. He said that according to recent guidelines, lactating mothers can also get vaccinated. It is pertinent to mention that all COVID-related queries and doubts can be cleared on helpline number 0191 2571616. Public can also call the Divisional Control Room at 0191-2520982, 2549676, 2674444, 2674115, 2674908.
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