Public/Global Health

Children’s hospitals see spike in COVID-19 cases in high-transmission areas

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Hospitals in areas of the country where coronavirus cases are rising are seeing an uptick in the number of children who are sick with the disease, according to a new report. 

Health care professionals in several states and cities with rising coronavirus case counts told NBC News the age of patients they are treating for coronavirus is lowering, as the delta variant of the virus rips through the nation and parents and teachers prepare for the start of the school year.

At Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, 23 patients under 18 have been admitted to the hospital’s system last week, NBC News reported, including ten in the ICU and five on ventilators.

More than a dozen children came to St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri for coronavirus in the last week of July, the outlet reported, and at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, coronavirus positivity rates have reportedly risen from around 3 percent to above 10 percent among kids.

“Absolutely, household infections are the beginning of this pandemic; that is a major driving force in the spread of infections. We see it often within households, parents to children,” Jim Versalovic, the chief pathologist and interim chief pediatrician at Texas Children’s, told NBC News. “We have certainly seen siblings — more than two at times — with an infection at the same time, so spread within households is certainly a very real phenomenon.”

The reported surge in coronavirus cases comes as federal health officials race to approve a vaccine for use in children.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official said a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved under emergency use authorization for children under 12 years old as soon as early to mid-winter.

Tags children's hospitals children's vaccine Coronavirus COVID-19 FDA Vaccines
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