Occasionally check your kids’ sense of smell & taste – Virologist to parents

A virologist at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr. Samuel Essien-Baidoo, has called on parents to periodically check the sense of smell and taste in their children so they can seek quick medical help as these are some of the “surest” Covid-19 symptoms, apart from the high fever.

Dr Essien-Baidoo, who was speaking in an interview on Connect FM’s Orokodo Kasaebo on Tuesday, February 9, however, assured parents that there is no cause for alarm even as reports of Covid-19 infections in some schools and children continue to come in.

At the Akosombo International School (AIS) in the Eastern Region, for example, 73 out of 553 students tested positive for the virus.

The country’s total active cases as at February 9, 2021 stood at 6,707 with an average daily infection rate of 700 cases.

Many parents have expressed concern about the safety of their children in schools, calling on government to close down the schools again as a safety measure.

But Dr. Essien-Baidoo believes there is no cause for alarm.

“There has been a lot of Covid-19 education to the extent that even 4 to 5-year-olds are aware of the disease, so all the parents should also play their part by continuing the Covid education at home,” he admonished.

In response to a question on how parents can easily identify the Covid-19 symptoms to enable them seek quick medical attention for their wards, he said that apart from the high fever, they should also be testing for their sense of taste and smell.

“When the child returns from school, after hands have been washed and all the necessary protocols carried out, you let him or her taste something and also smell something to ensure all the senses are working.

“But this should be done skillfully in order not to make the child paranoid because the psychological aspect is very important so you don’t put unnecessary fear in the child,” he added.

In a related development, Executive Director of Child Rights International Bright Kweku Appiah has called on parents to “join in the fight against Covid-19 by ensuring that children going to school or interacting with their friends do so under strict adherence to the protocols”.

In a press release titled “COVID19, STATE OF CHILDREN IN GHANA”, he indicated that research by his outfit in collaboration with medical experts reveals Ghana has not reached the level of risk to determine whether schools should be closed down or not.

However, there must be effective strategies in place to reduce the spread of the virus and measures to provide first-class services for children affected.

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