Officials note surge in pediatric COVID-19 cases as ICU beds become limited

HOUSTON – The Texas Medical Center reports a rise in the number of COVID cases with hospitalizations rising more than 400 percent in the past month.

The TMC said they have not seen any increase since the peak of the pandemic in the summer of 2020, and many of the patients are young children who have not been vaccinated.

“We have seen a large number of children come in with Covid-19 infections and they are of all ages, from newborn to any age possible,” said Dr. Ali Naqvi, a pediatrician at UT Health.

According to reports, all five of Houston’s children’s wards are full.

Earlier this week, 11-month-old Ava Ramirez contracted the virus and had to be flown to a hospital 150 miles away because no beds were available.

dr. Peter Hotez, an expert on infectious disease and vaccine development at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, said he believes this most recent increase could be just the beginning.

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“Our Texas Medical Center is filling up and the concern, of course, is that all of this needs to be put in context with the schools not even opening yet,” Hotez said.

The expert said the only way to fight the virus is to mask and get vaccinated.

“We see a lot of sick children because both parents have not been vaccinated and you know they got sick and then passed it on to the child naturally,” said Dr. Suma Manjunath, a pediatrician at Kelsey-Seybold.

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