Pediatrician weighs in on why we’re seeing so many COVID cases in kids
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - As COVID-19 cases increase among children, the Louisiana Health Department (LDH) confirmed the sixth pediatric death from COVID-19 in the state on Friday, Sept. 17.
The death is part of the state’s fourth surge of the virus, largely driven by the Delta variant. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 240,000 pediatric COVID-19 cases were reported between Sept. 2 and 9 in the United States.
Doctors say as the world opens up a little more than before, it creates more room for transmission of the virus.
“This time of year, children are going back to school, our outdoor activities are starting to be limited, and we’re congregating more. Also, parents are entering the workforce again and are starting to get involved in more activities, more traveling. And children are the unvaccinated group, so they are more susceptible to the virus,” Dr. Wanda Thomas, Ochsner LSU Health professor of pediatrics, said.
Thomas shared ways parents can try to protect their children from getting the virus.
“I encourage parents and caretakers to get vaccinated,” she added.
Louisiana Department of Health didn’t report what region of the state the child died in, but health experts say they’ve seen an increase in COVID patients across the state, including the ArkLaTex.
“COVID-19 has exacerbating symptoms as well as the whole inflammatory process that we’re seeing with children. We are seeing an increase in those in our intensive care unit, not only on the general pediatric floor,” Thomas said.
To keep children safe, Thomas says everyone should continue to take precautions.
“I would encourage children to wear masks, to practice as much social distancing as possible. Washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, just those mitigating factors in place that we need to be doing, I really encourage our children to do the same,” Thomas added.
Children under the age of twelve cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine; the CDC says if you have questions about the vaccine, you should reach out to your doctor.
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