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BHB Chief of Staff allays fears over increased coronavirus infection rates in children

Wesley Miller, the Chief of Staff at the Bermuda Hospitals Board (File photograph)

Increased numbers of coronavirus cases among children should be “a concern, but not a worry”, the Chief of Staff at the Bermuda Hospitals Board said last night.

Wesley Miller said parents should “remain vigilant” but not fearful despite the island’s high caseload.

Dr Miller explained that “severe illness tends to be seen more in those who have weakened immune systems or other co-morbidities” with the Omicron strain as with earlier variants“.

He said: “If we take a healthy five-year-old with Omicron or any of the variants and compare that five-year-old with somebody 70, overweight, with diabetes, who probably has chronic kidney disease, then for the same level of infection and exposure, that adult is at far greater risk than the child”.

Dr Miller was speaking as increasing infection numbers were logged among younger people, including school-aged children.

He said restrictions were “a little unfair” to children, but that they were more prone to spreading the virus among themselves and passing it on to older, more vulnerable people in their homes or extended families.

Dr Miller added: “Children are sociable animals. They cough and then remember they should have covered it.

“The factors are such that they are more likely to be sharing their germs.”

But he said: “I would still say to parents, do not keep your children away from school because there is a yet unknown impact as to how social isolation will affect children.

“When we look back at life, a good bit of learning was from our peers.”

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Published January 28, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated January 28, 2022 at 7:23 am)

BHB Chief of Staff allays fears over increased coronavirus infection rates in children

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