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As COVID Cases Rise Among Kids, Mother Who Has Young Daughter In The Hospital Shares Message

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- COVID-19 cases among kids continue to surge across the country.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, starting for the week ending on Dec. 30, over 325,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported.

A pediatrician at UPMC Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh said he's seeing it happen here.

Avery Cooper is a happy-go-lucky 9-year-old from Butler. She was admitted to Children's Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19

"Avery ended up getting sick New Year's Eve. She's on a COVID floor right now," said Avery's mom, Alisha Cooper.

Alisha said her daughter started sneezing, coughing and vomiting the day before and spiked a fever of 104 degrees on New Year's Eve.

"We brought her straight to Children's ER," Alisha said.

Alisha said Avery was born with a rare chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 17, which makes her more vulnerable when she gets sick. Because of this, Alisha said the whole family has been extra careful since the pandemic began.

Avery and her 11-year-old sister have been attending school from home, and the whole family is vaccinated, which Alisha believes has made a world of difference for her since getting COVID.

"That's definitely helped her stay out of the ICU," said Alisha.

However, not out of woods. Since being in the hospital, Alisha said Avery had to go on oxygen at one point.

"If you look at an unvaccinated child with comorbidities versus a vaccinated child with comorbidities, the vaccinated child does better," said Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children's Hospital Dr. Raymond Pitetti.

That's why Dr. Pitetti is stressing that kids get the COVID-19 shot and booster if they're eligible, even if they're healthy.

"Those who are vaccinated who get sick have much less of a risk of developing severe complications," said Pitetti.

Alisha is hopeful that Avery is turning the corner. However, she knows things could have been worse for her daughter. She has a message for others.

"It's definitely a real thing. It's sad people don't take it more serious. People always say, 'Well, that person has an underlying health condition.' But Avery, who has this rare chromosome disorder, could live a very long life but it could be something as simple as COVID or any virus that could take her out," said Alisha.

Alisha said Avery could be getting out of the hospital as soon as this weekend.

Meantime, Dr. Pitetti stresses that if your child has cold symptoms, call your pediatrician and get them tested. If they're having a tough time breathing, running a high fever and not drinking any fluids, take them to the ER right away.

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