COVID, RSV Linked To Recent Spike Of Children Being Hospitalized

Cases of COVID-19 are spiking not only among adults but also among some of the youngest Coloradans. Doctors and spokespersons from some of Colorado’s top hospitals for children say they’ve seen a recent trend of kids testing positive for the Omricon variant, some as young as newborns.

“We have seen a slow but steady increase of the number of patients who are in our hospital with COVID,” said Dr. Reginald Washington of Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. “It isn’t the highest peak that we have seen, but it certainly is on a steady increase.”

Dr. Washington told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas his hospital has seen a steady increase of positive COVID-19 tests among children. Many are coming in needing hospitalization specifically because of their COVID-19 infection. Others are coming in seeking treatment for other illnesses and injuries and are also testing positive.

“My biggest concern about Omricon is that it is so contagious,” Washington said. “We have had all ages, from newborns to the very elderly. So, we have had patients in our nursery, in our neonatal ICU that have had COVID. So, everybody is vulnerable to the virus.”

Washington said COVID-19 is not the only virus they are seeing spread rapidly among children. RSV has also been surging through younger people and has also accounted for an increase in hospitalizations among kids.

However, when it comes to COVID-19, Washington said those hospitalized are experiencing lighter symptoms overall. However, some are still becoming deathly sick.

“(The hospitalization rate) is as high as it has been since the start of the pandemic started. The good news is they aren’t as sick as the patients we cared for in the past,” Washington said. “So far we haven’t seen real sick children from the Omricon variant. But they are very contagious. And what that means is that those children are more likely to infect other children and adults that they are exposed to.”

Washington encouraged adults and children who are old enough to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves from young children who may be transmitting the virus. He also said everyone should be upgrading their masks from cloth masks to surgical grade or better. Doing so could help prevent the further spread of many viruses.

“We are seeing an uptick in all the viral illnesses. RSV, the flu and COVID. So now is not the time to let your guard down,” Washington said.

Health experts, including Dr. Washington, said projections suggest the Omricon surge could begin to fade away by the end of the month.

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