Every Picture Tells a Story: COVID and Kids

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Could anything be more terrifying than your child being seriously ill? Children have been the last group to begin to receive vaccinations. We rightly suggest they congregate daily in schools. How at risk are they in the face of the rising cases of Omicron?

The number of children hospitalized with COVID is rising, along with the rest of the population. In New York, the increased admission rate for children under five has increased by 66% - in context, from 2.5 individuals/100,000 to 4/100,000. Steeper increases have been noted in Georgia, Connecticut, Tennessee, California, and Oregon. As with the adults, the unvaccinated are the most significant pediatric admissions. For those children ages five and older, vaccine uptake has ranged from 25% for those 5-11 to 50% for those 12-17 – pediatric COVID cases are being driven by those under five, ineligible for vaccination.

But, much like the adults at this juncture, the severity of COVID has diminished. Yes, more children are hospitalized, but they are released quickly, and their experience of COVID is more like the many seasonal respiratory diseases, asthma, croup, and bronchiolitis (a viral inflammation of the smaller airways within the lung).

It is too early to say whether this wave of COVID will result in more or fewer multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) cases, which develop several weeks after the initial infection. There is hope, though, because MIS-C more often accompanies more severe, ICU-admitting illness.

 

Source: Omicron drives record cases of child Covid hospitalization Financial Times