While Michigan is starting to see some progress in our COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations, new data suggests the coronavirus could have a larger impact on kids.
Since the pandemic started, kids represent just under 14% of all positive cases nationwide.
In Michigan, we have the eighth-highest case count in kids, behind Arizona and Ohio, and rates of infection are higher than at any point during the pandemic.
A doctor at Michigan Medicine points out the B.1.1.7. or U.K. variant, dominant here in Michigan, seems to be upping household transmission. It's believed to be more contagious, and in kids, seems to show more symptoms
“We’ve certainly have been seeing far more COVID in children lately," Dr. Marisa Louie, the medical director for children's emergency services at Michigan Medicine said.
A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association shows Michigan stands out in some regard when it comes to kids and COVID-19. We're just one of a handful of states showing a greater increase in the percentage of child COVID-19 caes in the first part of this month.
Nationwide, there has been a 5% increase.
“We’re seeing a fair amount of transmission now amongst kids ages 10 and up. But really the entire age of 10 to 15 and lower than that is not eligible for the vaccine," she added. "Stop the virus from spreading in those age groups.”
Children overall have a much lower risk of death from the virus and tend to get less sick. One rare exception we saw locally this year, the Elhoury family, hose 4-year-old daughter Juliana ended up in the ICU after battling COVID-19 with something called multi-system inflammatory syndrome.
“It’s something we’re still trying to digest. We still haven’t really comprehended that," Michelle Elkhoury, Juliana's mother, said.
Louie said on top of coronavirus, they're seeing spikes in other virus and respiratory illnesses in kids.
“From what we can tell, the return to school, viral illnesses," Louie said. “What we think is happening is more the activities after school, households feeling more comfortable now and socializing.”
Because kids are now eligible for a vaccine right now, Louie said that makes adherence to masking that much more important right now, as that's the main defense against the virus.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
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