By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
At the start of the pandemic, the elderly and the immunocompromised were the main concern. As the pandemic has progressed and the variants continue to mutate, the new concern is with children.
Every week, Children’s Wisconsin publishes information regarding the number of cases of COVID-19 in children. From September 22 to 28, an average number of 12 children were hospitalized with COVID-19. Other respiratory illnesses resulting in hospitalization include respiratory syncytial virus with 16 cases, rhinovirus with 13 cases and influenza with zero cases.
“The number of children in Wisconsin with COVID-19 and the rate of hospitalizations of children with COVID-19 in our state continue to rise steadily,” Dr. Michael Gutzeit said in a statement.
Gutzeit is the Chief Medical Officer of Children’s Wisconsin.
He continued, “The best way to stop this trajectory and protect our children is to take the precautions we already know. I encourage families and school districts to step up the use of masks to reduce the spread of viruses. , especially since we are seeing a continued increase in COVID-19 and rhinovirus. ”
The number of cases of COVID-19 in children resulting in hospitalization has increased over time. Between September 8 and 14, five children were hospitalized, the following week that number doubled.
Children’s Wisconsin noted that most children who test positive have mild symptoms or are hospitalized for other reasons. He pointed out that the long-term effects of COVID-19 are still unknown.
Respiratory viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus, which cause colds, are common around this time of year, according to the hospital’s information center.
Currently, 71% of rooms at Children’s Wisconsin are occupied. According to the graph, 78% of the rooms in the pediatric intensive care unit are also occupied. While that number is the same as last week, it is a slight drop from 79% from September 8.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, children in the following age groups experience the most cases: 9 to 13 and 14 to 17. As of the week of September 19, there have been 32,263 confirmed cases in 9 in the 13-year-old age group and 37,776 confirmed cases in the 14-to-17-year-old age group.
People 16 years of age and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently available vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. Children 12 years of age and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine.
In his statement, Gutzeit noted that masks are the best tool to slow the spread of the virus and “limit disruption to the school year.”
“We are encouraged by the progress of the COVID-19 vaccine reported by Pfizer-BioNTech and look forward to being able to immunize children aged 5 to 11,” he said.