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Kentucky doctors share ‘alarming’ trend of COVID-19 among children

Medical professionals say not only are more children being admitted to the hospital because of...
Medical professionals say not only are more children being admitted to the hospital because of COVID-19, more have become asymptomatic carriers.(Source: WAVE 3 News)
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 4:23 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2021 at 5:50 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - During his weekly Team Kentucky briefing, Governor Andy Beshear focused on the battle against the Delta variant of COVID-19. Not only is it infecting people at a high rate, but he said it has put more children in the intensive care unit than ever before.

Lexington’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital has treated 10 children with severe COVID-19, four of those have been admitted in the past two weeks, and two others in the last two days. Although 10 pediatric patients may not seem like much, doctors said each of those children were in critical care which required IV treatments or ventilators.

As of Thursday, Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville is treating six pediatric patients with COVID-19, which is a slight increase from last week. Baptist Health Louisville and Baptist Health La Grange emergency departments have each treated at least one child with COVID-19.

Not only are more children being admitted to the hospital because of the virus, more have become asymptomatic carriers. Dr. Sean McTigue, Kentucky Children’s Hospital Medical Director for Pediatric Infection Prevention & Control, said the upward trend is alarming because until a COVID vaccine becomes available to children younger than 12, the virus will continue to spread among pediatric patients. Now, they’re finding the virus can cause long-term side effects, or lead to related illnesses.

“Not only do we deal with severe COVID but we also see a condition called MISC, which stands for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children,” Dr. McTigue said. “This is a syndrome where we see where there’s overwhelming inflammation in the body after COVID-19 has already resolved.”

MISC can appear four to six weeks after COVID. Symptoms can include fatigue, headache, stomach pain and tightness in the chest.

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