MEMPHIS, Tennessee (WMC) — Mississippi sees another alarming trend among new COVID-19 cases. They send children to the ICU. The state’s top health official said 12 children are currently in intensive care with COVID-19.
Of those 12 children in the ICU with COVID-19 in Mississippi, state health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs that ten are on a ventilator. In Tennessee, health officials have not seen children so sick, but with school starting soon, doctors said precautions should be taken.
“With the arrival of the new delta variant, the question is what this will look like in pediatrics,” says Dr. Nick Hysmith, director of infection prevention at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.
So early on, it’s unclear whether the delta strain of COVID-19 will affect patients, including pediatric patients, differently, but one thing is clear.
“We know it’s definitely more easily transmitted from person to person,” said Dr. Brad Scott, Baptist Union County Chief Medical Staff.
Dobbs appeared to correlate the 12 severe COVID-19 cases in children with the increase in variant cases, calling it a “delta wave” on Twitter on Tuesday. However, no other information is included on those pediatric ICU cases, even if they are of vaccine-eligible age or are immunocompromised.
dr. Scott believes that if more people were vaccinated in the state, fewer children would be exposed to the virus.
“They have no protection other than what they’re exposed to,” said Dr. Scott.
dr. Hysmith said Shelby County has seen no increase in severe COVID-19 cases in pediatric patients. The Shelby County Health Department said there have been 319 cases in children in the past 30 days, one of which was sent to the ICU.
Hysmith said Mississippi’s screenplay could be a sign of things to come.
“If more children are admitted to intensive care areas across the country, then I see no reason why Memphis should be any different,” said Dr. Hysmith.
As schools gear up to get started, the CDC has recommended things like masks for unvaccinated people and students six feet away.
dr. Scott is a medical advisor for the New Albany School District, which will begin the year and will not mandate masks.
“[We are] purposely creating a fluid plan that could change,” said Dr. Scott.
WMC reached out to the Tennessee Department of Health to get the latest COVID-19 pediatric hospitalizations, but was told it doesn’t keep current records.
We’re still waiting for a response from the Arkansas Department of Health on the Natural State’s numbers.
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