LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – More children are testing positive for COVID-19.
Kentucky Children’s Hospital says it’s seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in children under twelve who are not eligible yet for the vaccine.
Dr. Scottie Day, the physician-in-chief at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, told us the hospital is at full capacity with kids being treated for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
Dr. Day says the hospital is treating, on average, two to ten patients a day. He says healthy kids can contract the virus but those with underlying health conditions, like obesity, are at a higher risk.
According to health experts the severity of COVID-19 in kids can vary. Symptoms can range from headaches to fever.
At least 500 children in the US have died.
Dr. Day says the most severe cases often occur in teenagers. That’s why he’s encouraging everyone 12 years and older to get vaccinated. He also points to the effectiveness of wearing masks in schools.
“The reason that we, as children’s hospitals and pediatricians, are trying to emphasize this is that if kids come and get viral illnesses and are missing weeks of school because they’re quarantined, that’s also detrimental to their education and detrimental to their mental health,” Dr. Day said.
Days says the Kentucky Children’s Hospital saw a significant increase in mental health visits last year, children dealing with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Dr. Day explained Kentucky Children’s Hospital is also seeing an increase in other respiratory illnesses like RSV. He mentioned it’s important for the hospital to keep capacity numbers down especially since we’re about to enter into trauma season.