In Utah, Primary Children’s Hospital reported an influx of critically ill children contracting COVID-19. This is alarming because children usually have minor symptoms when they contract the deadly virus.
Most of the children admitted at Primary Children’s Hospital with COVID-19 are there with other respiratory infections. Just last week, one teenager admitted to the hospital died of COVID-19. Dr. Andrew Pavia said that the death of the teenager was “absolutely devastating on the staff.” He added that because of the increase in children having COVID-19 not only in Utah but in children’s hospitals nationwide, they are already “filled to the brim.”
Doctors had to place two children in each room and cancel important surgeries to create space in the intensive care unit. Intensive care units are at 92.5 percent full, KSL.com reported.
Health officials in Utah reported 2,165 new cases in just a day. This is the most number of cases since Jan. 26. Alongside the new cases, 10 recent deaths were reported. Of the 2,165 new cases, school-aged children accounted for the 544 cases. A total of 231 cases were children aged five to 10, and 161 cases were children aged 14 to 17. With these numbers, the seven-day average for new cases in Utah is at 1,431 per day and a 12.3 positivity rate. As to hospitalization in Utah, 516 patients were admitted Thursday, 33 more than the previous day.
In the United States, the overall number of children infected with COVID-19 is 250,000 as of last week. This is the highest number at any time during the pandemic. Pavia believes this is because of the changing behaviors.
Pavia said people “put a lot of faith” that children will only have a mild illness when they contract the disease. However, the trend has changed. Jacob Ferrin, a registered nurse in the pediatric ICU at Primary Children’s Hospital, noted that children are in the hospital with COVID-19 and inflammation because of other viruses. “Everything hurts,” Ferrin said, adding that their eyes could get really red, and when you touch their arm, it would most likely hurt them.
Pavia noted that parents, teachers and relatives who spend time with children should get vaccinated. He also talked about masking up, reiterating: “Another thing we know works is masking in schools … and we take it very personally when people tell us that it doesn’t work, or when people tell us masks are a personal choice.”