Almost 1 in 5 children in Thailand have had Covid: Dr Yong
Almost one out of every five young children in Thailand has already been infected with Covid-19, a leading virologist said on Monday.
Dr Yong Poovorawan said about 8 per cent of children aged 5-6 were infected during the Delta outbreak, citing an infection survey conducted by Chulalongkorn University's Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology, which he heads.
"The infection among this group of children increased to 17 per cent during the Omicron outbreak," he said in a Facebook post on Monday.
"More than half of them were asymptomatic,” Yong added, explaining that their previous infection was shown by the presence of Covid-19 virus antibodies in their blood.
He said that 8 per cent of children aged 6-11 years who participated in the centre's research study had also shown previous infection with asymptomatic Covid-19.
"This proves that small children may have already been infected with Covid-19 and these infections are likely to increase."
However, most of them were asymptomatic and will have generated immunity against the virus in future, Yong added.
He believes many teenagers and adults have already been infected with Covid-19 unknowingly after experiencing no or only mild symptoms.
However, this should help create herd immunity and reduce the virus’s severity in the future.
Meanwhile, the Chula centre’s Covid-19 infection survey was a useful tool for making disease-control plans, he said.