CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) — UVA Health says they are seeing more children with COVID in hospital than ever before. There are currently four pediatric COVID patients in the home at UVA medical center.
“Perhaps a month ago, the number of patients we saw in the children’s hospital was probably on the order of one or two,” said Dr. Costi Sifri of UVA Health. “So, when I talk to my colleagues, you know in pediatrics, they feel like they’re seeing more cases. It’s not a market surge, but it’s remarkable.”
The Blue Ridge Health District says they have reported more than 100 new COVID cases in children ages 5-11 in the past week. That’s now 10.6% of the total number of COVID cases they’ve seen this week.
While this rate may not be as high as other groups, it’s something to watch because UVA Health says more children are being hospitalized for symptoms after COVID.
“I’d like to add that we’ve also occasionally seen a patient, who also has this inflammatory condition that occurs after COVID,” said Dr. Costi Sifri. “MIS-C multi-inflammatory syndrome in children. So we see the consequences of COVID and sometimes the complications of COVID after infection.”
UVA Health says the overall demand for pediatric care is through the roof.
“I think there are a lot of factors,” said UVA Health Chief Executive Officer Wendy Horton. “You know, RSV season, different viruses and so on beyond COVID. We are very busy with our pediatric wards and all of our wards are quite full of pediatric patients.”
UVA Health says it has also seen a rise in RSV this year. When they find COVID in kids, it’s usually because the kids came for something else.
“If you look specifically at children, their admission would show that they had COVID as a result of a different process that they entered,” said Dr. Costi Sifri. “Appendicitis, or some other problem, and they turned out to be COVID positive.”
Pfizer is still in the process of submitting data for a vaccine for children ages 5-11, and it looks like November will be the timeline for these kids to get their first dose.
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