Early evidence had suggested that children are less susceptible to COVID-19 and have a lower risk for symptoms, as well as severe illness. But it doesn't mean that they are immune to the virus. The understanding of Coronavirus effect on children is changing and more such cases involving children as well as newborn babies are being reported around the US.
Hundreds of children infected with novel Coronavirus are being admitted into Arizona hospital each month, said a spokesperson for Banner Health in a Twitter thread on Sunday, January 17.
Becky Armendariz, a public relations specialist for Banner Health, didn't provide specifics on the severity of their illnesses but she urged the parents to make responsible decisions when it comes to keeping their little ones safe from COVID-19.
"I look out my front window at a youth soccer tournament that is in full swing at church across the street. Kids and refs not masked. Parents with masks under chins, chatting/cheering away in close proximity to others," wrote Armendariz.
According to Jama Network, researchers looked into the trends where children are being diagnosed with COVID-19 in 22 states, including Arizona.
The researchers found that at the beginning of their study, the average cumulative hospitalization rate per 100,000 children was 2.0. But later, it has increased to 17.2 at the end of the study. Among all other states, Arizona ranked as one of two hot spots for children contracting novel Coronavirus, suggested the study which looked at the numbers between May 15 and November 15, 2020.
"Hawaii and New Hampshire had the lowest rates at 4.3 and 3.4 per 100 000 respectively and South Dakota and Arizona had the highest rates at 33.7 and 32.8 per 100 000," the study added.
Newborn Babies with COVID-19
Maria Espinoza, a mother of a newborn baby, said her 27-day-old child was hospitalized for many days after the infant tested positive for COVID-19. According to Espinoza, a doctor told her that more severe child COVID-19 cases are becoming more and more common.
The newborn baby developed a high fever. Espinoza said her child used to moan throughout the night and refused to sleep. "I took him to two different hospitals. The first one told me he was just constipated. They said, 'don't worry, take him home,'" she said.
But the symptoms continued to get worse and one night, Espinoza rushed him to the children's hospital. Soon, she came to know that her child is COVID-19 positive. According to her, the baby got the disease after a relative stopped by on Christmas day. That person tested positive for the infection.
Espinoza is now trying to spread awareness. She said, "If you think you might have COVID, stay home, quarantine yourself. Cause my son could have died just for that one person that came over."
Children getting affected by the virus is not rare anymore. "I know from reports from my pediatric colleagues that they are starting to see their hospitals get pretty overwhelmed with children with COVID," said Dr. Andrew Carroll, a physician.
He said that the reason behind a drastic increase in child hospitalization cases could be due to more schools returning to in-person learning and continuing with sports. According to him, one of the other reasons could be the spread of new variants of the Coronavirus from the UK and South Africa that have been spreading more quickly among the children.
"When you have something that is just so darn contagious go up by about 50 percent, those people that thought they couldn't get sick, those people are getting sick now," said Dr. Carroll.