HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Health said about 20% to 25% of the daily COVID cases this past week are in children. A pediatrician said parents need to be extra careful about social plans, especially if their keiki are not eligible to get vaccinated.
A department of health graph shows a steep incline in cases from people 17-years-old and under during the last week of July.
“There definitely are more pediatric patients being diagnosed,” Kapiolani Medical Center Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Natascha Ching said. “Luckily there is a range of disease from asymptomatic to mild to severe, and that could vary depending on the age and underlying condition that a child may have in terms of hospitalizations.”
Ching said more children are being treated for COVID-19 than before. She said virus transmission is partly due to the highly contagious Delta variant, as well as more people returning to every day activities.
“I can’t speak of an exact number right now, but we know that we have seen some young children and older children who have been hospitalized,” Ching said. “I don’t think our trend is as high as we have heard in some of the southern states you know within our nation.”
Similar to adults, symptoms and severity of illness depends on the child’s age and underlying medical conditions. Parents should look out for symptoms such as cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, fever, nausea, vomit and diarrhea.
Ching said, “Any of those symptoms that we talked about should be a reason for families to test, or if they have a contact with someone with COVID-19 or if they have been advised by a school setting.”
Ching said parents with children who had COVID-19 should continue to monitor for other symptoms such as bloodshot eyes and abdominal pain. These could be signs of a rare but severe illness called Multi-Inflammatory Syndrome in Children that is triggered by COVID-19. Ching said there has been about a dozen cases in Hawaii.