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Stay away from infants if you have Covid, warns virologist


Protecting infants from the prevalent Omicron variant is essential if we want to move on from the two-year-long pandemic, a virologist said on Saturday.

Dr Anan Jongkaewwattana, director of the Veterinary Health Innovation and Management Research Group of the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Biotec), said in a Facebook post that adults who may be infected should avoid getting tactile with babies to protect them from the virus.

“Infants are not vaccinated so they have a high risk of infection, much like other vulnerable groups. If you know you are infected and even if you have mild or no symptoms, avoid touching babies,” he said.

“Everybody wants to move on from Covid now. But if you allow infants to get infected, it will not be over easily.”

Stay away from infants if you have Covid, warns virologist

Anan also cited a March 18 report from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that said the number of American children aged 0 to four being hospitalised with Omicron infection was five times more than the previous peak during the Delta variant outbreak.

He said though Omicron does not cause severe illness, it poses a high risk to infants as they are not vaccinated against the virus.

The CDC report said Covid-19 can cause severe illness in children aged up to four as they are not yet eligible for vaccination.

“Important strategies to prevent Covid-19 among infants and young children include vaccination of currently eligible populations such as pregnant women, family members, and caregivers of infants and young children,” it said.

Published : March 19, 2022