Reader ‘s opinion Stopping tracing would be a big public health risk

The prevalence of long-term symptoms and organ damage caused by the virus in children and adolescents is not yet certain.

Corona time has impaired the well-being of children and young people. This is due not only to the restrictions on children, but to the epidemic situation in general in a very complex way.

The prevalence of long-term symptoms and organ damage caused by the virus in children and adolescents is not yet certain. Data to date suggest that school-age children are at significant risk for long-term harm, although acutely the disease is rarely severe for them. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommends community-based education, while effectively protecting children from coronary infection.

Stopping the tracing of infection in a situation where willing adults have been vaccinated and children are not vaccinated would be appallingly unfair, as well as a big public health risk. If children become ill on a large scale, the differential diagnosis of chronic coronary symptoms, psychosomatic and psychiatric symptoms alone, and child welfare situations will become challenging and burdensome for health care. Children’s mental health services are already dangerously overburdened.

Constant worries also burden families.

Schools and kindergartens have been active and successful in preventing further infections. Infections between children caused by the delta transformation are more difficult to prevent, although adult vaccination protection will cut off some of the chains of infection in the future. Therefore, primary infections in schools and kindergartens should now be minimized.

If the epidemic is suppressed in Finland so that the number of daily infections is measured in tens, and infection tracing is considered to work very quickly, children are likely to be quite at peace in school and early childhood education. It also requires effective border control and testing for children, as well as reasonable hygiene and contact reduction measures in schools.

Maintaining suppression would hardly require very harmful restrictions, and would be facilitated all the time as vaccinations progress. The constant, hasty return to normal in the media reduces the motivation of many to prevent infections. This reduces the freedom of many others. Infection tracking cannot work when there are a lot of infections and contacts, so an attempt to halve the epidemic is likely to require more restrictions than maintaining repression.

The maintenance of suppression can be stopped when children have also had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Possibly at this stage, for example, immunocompromised adults have already received three vaccinations. It is not yet known whether the vaccine will also benefit babies, or whether vaccination of people over the age of five, for example, will suffice.

If we act right away, the pastimes of adults and the quality of life of children at the beginning of school are in conflict. If decisions are postponed, the quality of life of children and the risk of children becoming ill will also have to be set against each other.

Ilona Visapää

pediatrician, social pediatrician, youth physician, Helsinki

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by the HS editorial board. You can leave a comment or read the principles of the writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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