What Northern California pediatricians say parents can do about ommicron spike?

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States is the highest ever, and many patients are young children. “I don’t think anyone has seen a disease like COVID-19 have such an impact on children,” said Dr. Beatrice Tettah, who has treated children in Sacramento for the past 10 years. In Tettah’s private practice, calls about the ommicron variant and potential exposure are now constant. Most of her patients who test positive are under 5 years old, a group of medical experts say they are very vulnerable. “It was heartbreaking at times,” Tettah said. “They didn’t ask to be exposed to it or get it.” COVID-19 infections among U.S. children are “rising exponentially,” with more than 580,000 reported cases in the week of Jan. 6 alone, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The majority of children who end up in hospital are not vaccinated. “There is no vaccine for children under the age of 5,” says Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis. “For those 5 to 11 years old, the vaccination recommendation was only made recently … the vaccination rate in those children is less than 25%, so they are also vulnerable to infection.” of the cold and flu season, complicating efforts to diagnose patients quickly. “If your child has a cough or runny nose, address those symptoms first,” Tettah said. “I wouldn’t jump to ‘oh my god, it’s probably COVID-19’.” Tettah added that if the child has been around someone with a known case of the coronavirus, the chances of them contracting the virus are much higher. Children who have trouble breathing should be taken to an emergency room right away. Edith Gomez knows firsthand the fear of a child contracting the virus. She noticed last week that her 10-year-old son was showing symptoms. “Fever, chills, sweats, sore throat, cough,” she noted. “It was just bad.” Her son tested positive for COVID-19. He had not been vaccinated at the time, she said. KCRA 3 asked Gomez what her advice might be for other parents to avoid a similar situation. “Vaccinate and vaccinate,” Gomez said. “People say, ‘No, he’s got it, he’s immune.’ Yes, he is – for this variant. But I don’t know how many variants there will be.” She plans to give her son his injections for both the flu and COVID-19 after he is released from quarantine. UC Davis Health recommends following these safety guidelines: Children 2 years and older may wear a mask Children should also be kept away from large crowds Adults should limit the chance for children to be exposed If your child shows symptoms, let “The best way to keep children safe is to make sure the people around them are healthy and have a low risk of infection,” Blumberg said. The variant was first discovered in the United States from a traveler returning from South Africa who tested positive for the virus on Nov. 29. By mid-December, omicron, the dominant variant in cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., became more transmissible, so everyone will be more susceptible to infections,” Blumberg said. . “The plus side is that it causes milder illness, and so what we’re seeing is less lower respiratory tract disease, less pneumonia.” KCRA 3 also asked UC Davis Health about the possible long-term effects of COVID-19 on children. “We expect this variant to cause MIS-C, the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which usually occurs 2 to 4 weeks after acute infection,” Blumberg said. “It’s rare, but I’ve seen many cases in the Sacramento area.” Blumberg added that he expects to see more cases of MIS-C in the next 2 to 4 weeks. The disease can have serious consequences for the heart, blood vessels and other organs. “The other thing to worry about is long-term COVID,” the doctor said. “About 30% of children can get COVID for a long time and that can affect their normal activities and learning opportunities.” Medical experts across the country continue to encourage vaccinations and booster shots as the most powerful form of protection against COVID-19.| RELATED | COVID-19 in California: Find Testing Information, Ommicron Updates, Vaccine Rates and Boosters

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States is the highest ever, and many patients are young children.

“I don’t think anyone has seen a disease like COVID-19 have such an impact on children,” said Dr. Beatrice Tettah, who has treated children in Sacramento for the past 10 years.

Tettah’s private practice now has constant calls about the ommicron variant and possible exposure. Most of her patients who test positive are under the age of 5, says a group of medical experts who are highly vulnerable.

“It was heartbreaking at times,” Tettah said. “They didn’t ask to be exposed to it or catch it.”

COVID-19 infections among U.S. children are “rising exponentially,” with more than 580,000 reported cases in the week of Jan. 6 alone, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Most children who end up in hospital are not vaccinated.

“There is no vaccine for children under the age of 5,” says Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis. “For those 5 to 11 years old, the vaccination recommendation was only made recently … the vaccination rate in those children is less than 25%, so they are also vulnerable to infection.”

The rise in omicron cases is happening in the middle of the cold and flu season, complicating efforts to diagnose patients quickly.

“If your child has a cough or runny nose, address those symptoms first,” Tettah said. “I wouldn’t jump to ‘oh my god, it’s probably COVID-19’.”

Tettah added that if the child has been around someone with a known case of the coronavirus, the chances of them contracting the virus are much higher.

Children who have trouble breathing should be taken to an emergency room right away.

Edith Gomez knows firsthand the fear of letting a child contract the virus. She noticed last week that her 10-year-old son was showing symptoms.

“Fever, chills, sweats, sore throat, cough,” she noted. “It was just bad.”

Her son tested positive for COVID-19. He had not been vaccinated at the time, she said.

KCRA 3 asked Gomez what her advice might be for other parents to avoid a similar situation.

“Vaccinate and vaccinate,” Gomez said. “People say, ‘No, he’s got it, he’s immune.’ Yes, he is – for this variant. But I don’t know how many variants there will be.”

She plans to give her son his injections for both the flu and COVID-19 after he is released from quarantine.

UC Davis Health recommends following these safety guidelines:

  • Children 2 years and older are allowed to wear a mask
  • Children should also be kept away from large crowds
  • Adults should limit the chances for children to be exposed
  • If your child shows symptoms, get them tested

“The best way to keep children safe is to make sure the people around them are healthy and have a low risk of infection,” Blumberg said.

The omicron variant has proven to be much more contagious than other known strains of COVID-19 as it rampaged around the world. The variant was first discovered in the United States from a traveler returning from South Africa who tested positive for the virus on Nov. 29. Half December ommicron became the dominant variant in cases of COVID-19 in the US.

“It’s 2 to 5 times more transmissible, so everyone will be more susceptible to infection,” Blumberg said. “The plus side is that it causes milder illness, and so what we’re seeing is less lower respiratory tract disease, less pneumonia.”

KCRA 3 also asked UC Davis Health about the possible long-term effects of COVID-19 on children.

“We expect this variant to cause MIS-C, the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which usually occurs 2 to 4 weeks after acute infection,” Blumberg said. “It’s rare, but I’ve seen many cases in the Sacramento area.”

Blumberg added that he expects to see more cases of MIS-C in the next 2 to 4 weeks. The disease can have serious consequences for the heart, blood vessels and other organs.

“The other thing to worry about is long-term COVID,” the doctor said. “About 30% of children can get COVID for a long time and that can affect their normal activities and learning opportunities.”

Medical experts across the country continue to encourage vaccinations and booster shots as the most powerful form of protection against COVID-19.

| RELATED | COVID-19 in California: Find Testing Information, Ommicron Updates, Vaccine Rates and Boosters

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