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Pediatric COVID-19 cases trending up nationwide, including at UVA Medical Center

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 3:47 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The average number of pediatric hospitalizations has skyrocketed nationwide in the past week. Doctors in the Charlottesville area say beds at UVA Children’s Hospital have not been overwhelmed, but the return to school could be a better indicator of worry.

“There is definitely more cases in children, but that’s a reflection of all of the cases that we’re seeing locally and nationally,” Doctor Debbie-Ann Shirley with the University of Virginia Medical Center said.

UVA Medical Center said on Wednesday, December 29, that it currently has two children who have been admitted with COVID-19.

“Last week, there was even a day when we had four new admissions of COVID in one day, which is on the higher side,” Dr. Shirley said.

The doctor adds that they saw a similar spike in cases going into September, with about the same number of admissions.

“A couple of interesting observations with these kids who have been admitted to the hospital: so not as likely or needing oxygen for pneumonia, and we’ve seen a range of presentations, such as dehydration or seizures,” Shirley said.

Doctor Paige Perriello with Pediatric Associates says there are symptoms to watch out for: “Breathing distress, coughing so hard they’re having difficulty breathing, or, in the younger kids and babies, if they’re lethargic, if they can’t drink well, if they’re not eating well, or very fussy,” she said.

Dr. Shirley says she has not seen or helped a child with severe COVID-19 who has been vaccinated. She recommends if your child can get vaccinated against the virus, then do so.

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