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UVA Health reports notable jump in pediatric COVID cases, hospitalizations

The outside of the UVA Children's Hospital
The outside of the UVA Children's Hospital(wvir)
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Health says they are seeing more children hospitalized with COVID than ever before. Right now, four pediatric COVID patients are in house at UVA medical center.

“Maybe a month ago, the number of patients that we saw in the children’s hospital was probably on the order of one or two,” Dr. Costi Sifri with UVA Health said. “So, talking to my colleagues, you know in pediatrics, they feel like they are seeing more cases. It’s not a market increase, but it’s notable.”

The Blue Ridge Health District says in the last week, they reported over 100 new COVID cases in children ages 5-11. That now makes up 10.6% of the total number of COVID cases they saw for the week.

While this rate may not be as high as other groups, it is something to watch because UVA Health says they are seeing more kids hospitalized for symptoms post-COVID.

“I’d add that we’ve also seen an occasional patient, who also has this inflammatory condition that occurs after COVID,” Dr. Costi Sifri said. “MIS-C multi-inflammatory syndrome in children. So, we see the consequences of COVID and sometimes the post infection complications of COVID,”

UVA Health says the overall demand for pediatric care is through the roof.

“I think there’s many factors,” Chief Executive Officer of UVA Health Wendy Horton said. “You know, RSV season, different viruses and so beyond COVID. We are very busy with our pediatric units and in all of our units are pretty full of pediatric patients.”

UVA Health says it has also seen a surge in RSV this year. When they find COVID in kids, it is usually because the children came in for something else.

“When you take a look at children specifically, when they were admitted they would be found to have COVID incidental to some other process they came in with,” Dr. Costi Sifri said. “Appendicitis, or some other issue, and they were found to be COVID positive.”

Pfizer is still in the process of filing its data for a vaccine for kids ages 5-11, and it looks like November will be the timeline for these children to get their first dose.

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