Bengaluru: In the first sero-survey conducted by the Karnataka Health Department in the paediatric age group of 6-14, it was found that 75.38% of the 5,358 unvaccinated surveyed children were exposed to coronavirus.
The report released by the department stated that the State Surveillance Unit, Department of Health and Family Welfare Services (DHFWS), conducted the paediatric sero survey across the State from June 6 to June 14 this year.
The State had previously conducted sero-surveys among adults (18 years and above) in September 2020 and January 2021 in which the sero-positivity rate of 16.8% and 15.6% were found respectively.
“The overall adjusted seroprevalence of IgG (immunoglobulin-G, a type of antibody prevalent in blood and other body fluids) was 75.38% at the state level, obtained after adjusting for the sensitivity and specificity of the antibody testing kit. There were no previous surveys in the paediatric age groups (6-14 years). Thus, it was planned to conduct COVID-19 sero survey among paediatric age group, based on the recommendation from Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Karnataka, keeping in mind the epidemiological issues related to infections following the three waves, and the state’s progress in vaccination,” the report stated.
A total of 5358 participants were enrolled for the study across Karnataka. 2726 (50.9%) were boys and 2632 (49.1%) were girls. 1662(31%) belonged to the 6-8 year age group, 1917 (35.8%) belonged to the 9-11 year age group, and the rest, 1779 (33.2%) belonged to the 12-14 year age group.
The percentage of school-going participants was 93.5% (5013). Out of the total enrolled participants, 1625 (30.3%) were from urban slums, 1681 (31.4%) were from urban non-slums, and the rest, 2052 (38.3%), were from rural areas of Karnataka. The percentage of school-going participants was 93.5% (5013). A total of 709 (13.23%) participants were symptomatic and the rest 4649 (86.77%) participants were asymptomatic, the report added.
Participants from urban non-slum had slightly higher IgG positivity of 77.96% as compared to those from rural areas, which was found to be 71.98%.
“Of the 5358 participants surveyed, 57 samples were rejected, and 23 samples had inconclusive results, giving a total of 5278 valid RT-PCR results. Among the valid RT-PCR reports, only 2 (0.04%) were RT-PCR positive, one symptomatic participant from Udupi and one asymptomatic participant from Chitradurga,” it said.
The report also said that over 86.88% of the children in the municipal limits of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) were exposed to Covid. “The highest Seroprevalence of IgG was seen in the East Zone (95.19%), followed by Yelahanka (94.69%) and Rajarajeshwari Nagar (91.64%). The lowest Seroprevalence of IgG was seen in the Dasarahalli zone (62.37%),” the report said.