Hospitals in areas of the country where coronavirus cases are on the rise are seeing an increase in the number of children who are sick with the disease, according to a new report.
Health professionals in several states and cities with a growing number of coronavirus cases told NBC News the age of patients being treated for coronavirus is decreasing, as the delta variant of the virus spreads across the country and parents and teachers prepare for the start of the school year.
At Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, 23 patients under the age of 18 were admitted to the hospital system last week, NBC News reported, including 10 in the ICU and five on ventilators.
More than a dozen children arrived at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri for coronavirus in the last week of July, the medium reported, and at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, coronavirus positivity rates have risen from about 3 percent to more than 10 percent among children.
“Absolutely, domestic infections are the beginning of this pandemic, which is one of the main driving forces in the spread of infections. We see it often at home, from parent to child, ”Jim Versalovic, Chief Pathologist and Acting Chief Pediatrician at Texas Children’s. He said NBC News. “We have certainly seen siblings, more than two times, with an infection at the same time, so spread within homes is certainly a very real phenomenon.”
The reported spike in coronavirus cases comes as federal health officials are rushing to approve a vaccine for use in children.
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official said last month that a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved under emergency use authorization for children under the age of 12 as early as mid-winter.