Infants in Siaya, Kenya show strong ‘resistance’ to Covid 19

Infants in a study carried out in Siaya County, Kenya have shown low Covid 19 infection rates compared to their mothers or pregnant women.

The study among 695 new mothers and their infants, and 886 pregnant women found Covid 19 infections lowest among the newborns.

The study by the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ministry of Health Siaya County reports infections highest among pregnant women, followed by postpartum mothers and least among the infants.

In the tested population, the report says the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection per 1,000 person-months was 4.3 among pregnant women, 1.8 in the postpartum group, and 0.9 in infants.

“SARS-CoV-2 rates seemed higher among pregnant women, then postpartum women, and lowest among infants,” says the early release in the Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal.

The team suggests that because of the high rates of Covid 19 infections among pregnant women they be prioritized for vaccinations.

The infected women, the study says had exhibited cough, runny nose, and headache while cough had been identified in two of the infected children.

The team in the study published on Wednesday (30 June 2021) is however cautious on the low infections found in children and promise more investigations.

The team says it was unable to exhaustively assess symptoms among infants and largely relied on mothers’ reports.

“We plan to test acute-phase and convalescent-phase serum, cord blood, and placentas to identify asymptomatic infections and explore whether risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection truly differs,” said the study.

The study was carried out from May 2020 to February 2021 and led by Nancy A. Otieno of Kemri-Kisumu.

By Gatonye Gathura

About Gatonye Gathura 142 Articles
Science Journalist

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