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Doctors, Nurses Report Alarming Rise In Pediatric COVID-19 Cases

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - The surge in COVID-19 cases has also affected children, with doctors and nurses reporting more young people in the hospital.


"The last two weeks, we've had more than 900 positive children," said Melanie Patterson with Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Since the start of the pandemic, doctors and nurses at the hospital have treated more than 9,000 sick kids, though nearly of thousand of those cases, according to Patterson, have been in the last two weeks.

"So, no. It doesn't feel like it's leveling off," she said. "In fact, we're waiting to see every day what our numbers look like."

Wednesday at CHOC, 33 children were admitted with COVID, with 12 of them in the intensive care unit and four on ventilators.

Patterson, who is the chief of nursing, said many of the children have underlying diseases and are very sick.

"What we're seeing now is that the kids coming in now are younger than they were a year ago, but for this surge, with Omicron, it's really the younger kids that are being affected. They're coming in with fevers, respiratory symptoms, more upper respiratory, not really lung issues," she said.

In Los Angeles County, pediatric cases have also surged. The county reported 153 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations among children on Jan. 18.

"It's been cold, runny nose, fever, headaches, sore throats, but definitely through the country, we've seen a big increase in terms of the positive cases. And therefore, with so many people testing positive, it's inevitable that there are going to be some more severe cases," Dr. Joel Warsh, a pediatrician in Studio City.

Patterson said that there are a lot of kids who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations that are not vaccinated.

"Certainly, the one thing we can encourage everybody out there is go get vaccinated. If your child is eligible, go get them vaccinated, wear a mask," she said.

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