How Corona Virus Affects Different Age Group - Old Wave vs New Wave

Ambili S Kartha

Created by Ambili S Kartha
Updated on May 24, 2021

How Corona Virus Affects Different Age Group Old Wave vs New Wave
Reviewed by Expert panel

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Data, India has reported 26,041 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours. This has pushed the total coronavirus tally to 33,678,786. Of these new cases, Of the new cases, 15,951 cases were reported only from Kerala. The recovery rate at present is 97.78%


This second wave of the coronavirus ravaged the country, hitting us a lot worse than the first wave and causing a sense of panic among families. In fact, India now accounts for a fifth of all infections worldwide. This is a large number, and the front-line workers and resources are being stretched to the limits. 

Families got infected in greater numbers, despite the development of a vaccine, and it is getting more difficult to get the proper care. So, naturally, we are worried. Why is this wave so much more deadly? Why are different age groups more affected this time? These are questions that plague the minds of many.

If you are one such person, this article is for you. It will help you understand the differences between the first and second waves, and how you may be affected by this change. 

Younger People Are More Affected

The first wave, quite noticeably, affected the elderly the most. However, the opposite is true for the second wave. About half of those infected by COVID-19 this time are below the age of 45. What could be the reason for this?

It could very well be due to the vaccination drive. Ever since vaccines became available in India in January, the people considered most at risk were given priority. This meant that healthcare workers got the vaccine first, then people above the age of sixty, and finally people of the age range 45-59.

This means that by the time the second wave hit, a huge part of the elderly was already vaccinated. The vaccine was made available to those below the age of 45 only on May 1, after the second wave hit. This could be why older people are not so severely affected while younger people are. 

Furthermore, the second wave is known to have an increased rate of transmission. And once the fear and shock of the first wave died down, younger people are much laxer about taking proper precautions. This was right on time for the second wave. This negligence of social distancing, quarantine, and mask-wearing could also be a contributor to the higher infection rate of youth. 

Even young people who strictly follow most precautions are unable to stay at home, as they are at an age where they are more likely to have jobs than the elderly. Even such unavoidable practices as having to drop by the office can help spread the virus.

Children Become More Symptomatic

In the first wave, children were largely unaffected. Even the few who were infected were mostly asymptomatic. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the second wave. Children are affected in much larger numbers now.

While it is unclear if children were not infected as much in the first wave (as they were not tested, due to lack of any symptoms), the number of children testing positive has certainly increased.

Five of the states that are worst affected by the coronavirus in this second wave are Karnataka, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. Of the number of infected people in these states, around 80,000 are children.

In addition to simply showing symptoms, more children also need to be hospitalized. In the first wave, infected children were mostly only kept in observation. However, during the second wave, they require support like fluids administered through IV, supplemental oxygen, and steroids.

Some of the most common COVID-19 symptoms shown by a child are fever, breathlessness, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal infection.

COVID 19 Symptoms In Different Age Group – Old Wave vs. New Wave

One of the differences between the second wave and the first wave is the symptoms. Different, newer symptoms are being observed in both children and adults. What are these symptoms? 

Symptoms In Adults

Many of the symptoms exhibited by adults are the same in both the first and second waves. This includes:

  • Fever

  • Cold

  • Cough

  • Body ache

  • Loss of smell

  • Loss of taste

  • Breathlessness and more.

However, some symptoms were not that common in the first wave being reported with more frequency during the second:

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • Hearing impairment

  • Nausea 

  • Conjunctivitis

Symptoms In A Child

As mentioned above, children who were infected during the first wave were, by and large, asymptomatic. However, the second wave has caused an increased amount of symptoms observed in children.

Some of these symptoms are:

  • Fever

  • Rashes and mottled skin

  • Body ache, particularly at the joints

  • Fatigue

  • Blue or swollen lips

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Bloodshot eyes

  • Blisters and lesions

  • Diarrhea

  • Loss of appetite

Increased Demand Of Oxygen Therapy

This is something that affects all age groups and is one of the main differences between the first and second waves. The lungs of the people infected by the second wave of COVID-19 are affected more by the virus than before. This means they will require more oxygen therapy.

Apparently, of the people needing to be hospitalized in the second wave, 54.5% require oxygen therapy, which is an increase of 13.4% from the peak of the first wave.

Take away

We thought the first wave was bad, but this more aggressive, persistent, and deadly second wave has taken us almost completely by surprise. With all this danger, coupled with the fear surrounding it, it is important to learn about it with a rational mind.

There is no doubt that there are differences between the first and second waves. There are new symptoms, and different people are being infected this time. This is why they should be aware of the many new symptoms and the new risks.

Keep the above differences in mind. Watch out for these new symptoms, even in your child, and seek medical attention immediately if you observe any. Remember, only together we can beat this disease.



This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| May 24, 2021

Nice blog

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