ST. LOUIS – COVID-19 cases continue to climb as the Delta variant surges. Now growing concerns for parents as more children are being hospitalized with COVID.
“We’ve gone from just a week from having 13 kids in pediatric with COVID to 20 this week, many of whom are in critical condition,” said Dr. Clay Dunagan, St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force.
Thirteen kids are hospitalized and seven are in the ICU. Three of the seven patients are 11 years of age or younger. The other four patients are between the ages of 12 and 18.
According to Dunagan, 84% of all patients in St. Louis regional hospitals are not fully vaccinated.
“What’s not entirely clear yet is whether that’s just a proportional increase because we know that the rate of COVID infections in our kids is higher too, or whether there’s more there’s more severity,” said pediatric emergency medicine physician Dr. Rachel Charney.
Charney also highlights the fact that kids are becoming big transmitters as well.
It’s a big concern for parents as students head back to school.
“A lot of our kids aren’t able to get vaccinated yet, so I think just being really mindful about any symptoms your child has. A lot of our pediatricians are saying, ‘Hey, it looks just like allergies,’” Charney said.
“We’re all worried about it, that’s why we’re out here trying to show support for everybody in the neighborhood. So, if you haven’t gotten the shot, go get it,” said local parent Stepanie.
Pediatric cases are also on the rise in Jefferson County.
According to their health department, COVID cases in children have jumped 352% from June to July.
Kids are just as vulnerable as their parents, so the same health guidelines like wearing a face mask are encouraged.
It’s important to note – the CDC reports 99% of people up to 19 years old do recover from COVID. However, if your kids show any symptoms at all, Dr. Charney highly recommends they get tested.