The impact of the coronavirus in children and adolescents with cancer was low compared to the adult population, and in 49% of cases they were asymptomatic, which allowed treatment to continue, reported the National Cancer Institute (INC) on the eve of International Childhood Cancer Day.
From the beginning of the pandemic to the present, the Argentine Hospital Oncopediatric Registry (Roha) revealed some 837 children with cancer and Covid, of which 49% were asymptomatic. In those who had symptoms, 78% had a fever of less than three days of evolution.
“Patients continue to receive all the care and their treatments. And that is our priority”, said Sandra Tirado, Secretary of Access to Health of the Nation.
“We are registering all the necessary information to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on the diagnostic delay and on the survival of our children. For now, no significant increase in excess mortality from Covid has been observed,” added the official.
Regarding the situation in the Garrahan Hospital, which cares for 40% of pediatric cancer patients treated in public hospitals, the head of the Hematology and Oncology Service, Pedro Zubizarreta, said that “in the children who are undergoing cancer treatment in There have been no problems in general.”
“We have been able to continue with the treatments,” assured the doctor and maintained that there was a “general slowdown” on the part of the health personnel due to having to work following strict protocols.
“Today we have approximately 100 children infected with Covid with cancer treatment in the hospital, but they are undergoing their treatment,” Zubizarreta specified, indicating that the rate of infection by the Omicron wave was higher than previous variants.
“We know that they get infected because we carry out frequent and systematic swabs to give them chemotherapy,” added the specialist, explaining that “to the extent that the treatment allows it, they are vaccinated” and that family members are immunized first.