Research regarding Omicron’s notorious subvariant discovered that it was harsher for children in what the authors call “the largest uninfected and unvaccinated childhood population to study the intrinsic severity of Omicron BA.2.”
The study, conducted Feb. 5-28 in Hong Kong, found that BA.2 was more severe in kids with no history of COVID-19 vaccination or infection and that they were more likely to be admitted to pediatric ICUs.
Among the 1,147 children between the ages of 0-11 in the study, four COVID-related deaths occurred, as BA.2 attacks the nervous system more than prior variants and therefore prompts more seizures.
Around 170 children were hospitalized during Omicron’s rampant spread with neurological difficulties, as the most common complication was seizures caused by fevers.
According to the authors, a potential explanation for such abrupt severity from the virus could be because of the absence of subjection to previous seasonal human coronaviruses throughout the last couple of years.
It is important to note that the study is in pre-print, and is yet to be peer-reviewed.
Nations worldwide have begun to relax COVID protocols as the virus seemingly becomes more manageable and less severe. Many health experts are warning that this could be dangerous, however.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel believes that there is a 20% chance that a future variant will be disruptive and dangerous, and that “we should always be very cautious, because there’s a… chance that something happens in some of the new variants that is very virulent.”