Limassol hospital’s paediatric clinic, where a doctor diagnosed with coronavirus was working, was not treating any immunosuppressed children, an expert said on Thursday adding that children usually respond to the virus much better than adults.
According to epidemiology professor at the University of Cyprus’ Medical School Dr Maria Koliou children with coronavirus present symptoms similar to a common cold and therefore it is not easy to identify the virus and take action.
She said that from international experience so far, complications from coronavirus are less common in children.
“The manifestation of coronavirus in children may be a simple rhinitis with little or no fever,” she said.
Referring to the case of a doctor at the Limassol general hospital’s paediatric clinic who was among the nine people who tested positive on Wednesday, Koliou said the appropriate measures had been taken to tackle the situation.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Thursday that the doctor in question was not working in the hospital’s pediatric ward but in the outpatient clinic.
The children’s ward in Limassol general hospital was shut down immediately and work is underway to transfer patients elsewhere.
Koliou said that immunosuppressed children are not treated at the Limassol hospital because it is not so specialised and accepts only general cases.
“Children tolerate coronavirus much better than adults and have no complications as adults do as they age,” she told the Cyprus News Agency.
It is for that reason that parents were facilitated to stay at home, to watch the children so that they do not take them to grandparents or schools, she said.
Koliou said it was very important for children to remain indoors and away from people who belong in the vulnerable groups of the population.
She noted that children transmit the virus for a longer period of time than adults.
“It appears that they can remain positive in the upper respiratory tract for the virus for up to three weeks while for adults it is up to two weeks after the onset of symptoms,” Koliou said.
She said that her message to parents is to keep children at home.