Hospitals are preparing for a greater surge in cases as children go back to school amid the rise of the Delta variant, the WSJ reported. COVID-19 hospitalization rates among children are the highest they have been since the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began tracking them.
As of Monday, Texas has 274 children hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. In California, there are 145 hospitalizations, in Florida 197 and in Ohio 184, according to HHS data.
“Among states reporting, children ranged from 1.6%-3.6% of their total cumulated hospitalizations, and 0.2%-1.9% of all their child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported.
Roughly 72.8 million people in the U.S. are under 18, representing 22% of the population, according to AAP. Children under 12, representing 14.5% of the population, are not authorized to get the vaccine.
As of Aug. 18, CDC data indicated that 11.2 million children under 18 had gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine: 55% of 16–17-year-olds and 45% of 12–15-year-olds.
Hospitals expect an uptick in multi system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), the WSJ reported. MIS-C is a rare condition that sometimes develops after COVID-19 infection and can cause organ damage or death if not properly diagnosed and treated.
There is no consensus among pediatricians if the Delta variant is making kids sicker than previous strains have, but current pediatric hospitalization rates are at an all time high, the WSJ reported.
There has also been a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases. The CDC defines RSV as a “respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms” that individuals normally recover from quickly, but the virus can be dangerous for infants and older adults.
The virus usually hits its high in the winter months, but has seen a surge this summer and its patients have been occupying COVID-19 dedicated beds in children’s hospitals, the WSJ reported.
As schools across the country prepare for the start of the school year, medical staff are worried about the lack of enforcement of CDC guidelines that recommend universal indoor masking in schools, especially in areas where the Delta variant is rapidly spreading, the WSJ reported.
Some states have banned mask mandates that school boards and districts implemented. In Florida, there has been a standoff between Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Biden administration and school boards within the state 0ver the governor’s ban on mask mandates.
“It may just be a matter of time before we see outbreaks occurring in the school setting,” said Tina Tan, a pediatric infectious-diseases physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the WSJ reported.
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Kendall Tietz on August 23, 2021