COVID cases spike among children

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:14 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Pediatric COVID cases are spiking across the U.S. with more than a quarter of a million new cases in one week.

That’s according to new data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

More than 5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and a pediatrician at Children’s of Alabama said the most recent spike in cases is because of the highly transmissible delta variant.

“When I hear about children who are being affected by an infection that is potentially preventable, as a parent and as a pediatrician that breaks my heart,” said Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician for Children’s of Alabama, Dr. Scott James.

According to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 750,000 children tested positive for COVID between August 5th and September 2nd with about 252,000 new cases reported over the past week.

“The Delta variant really changed the game towards the end of the summer. It’s partly because there are just so many more cases in general in the community, so you would expect the number of children to be affected as well to go up,” Dr. James said.

Dr. Scott James with Children’s of Alabama said the number children infected with COVID is likely much higher than what AAP is reporting.

He said that’s because fewer children are being tested for the virus.

Dr. James said, at this point, children are still relatively less affected by COVID than adults, but the number of severe cases of COVID in children is growing.

“We have been seeing more children now who are sick with COVID-19, hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other time in the pandemic. So, children are being affected now, what are we as a community going to do to protect this vulnerable population?” Dr. James said.

Dr. James said adding to the spread is the fact that children are back in school.

He said children need in-person instruction, and it’s our job as adults to do whatever we can to prevent them from getting and spreading the virus.

He said if you, or your child, are showing symptoms it’s important to go get tested and follow the guidance.

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