Health experts worry about increasing spread of COVID-19 among children


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Health experts are sounding the alarm bells this week about the rapidly growing number of children with COVID-19 statewide. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reports that children accounted for nearly 25% of the state’s COVID-19 cases in the past four weeks.

“I am very concerned about the number of cases that we are seeing in children in the state of Alabama,” said Dr. Karen Landers of ADPH.

Dr Landers made the comments during a panel hosted by the Alabama Medical Association, where she also expressed concern about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on children.

“One of the things that we see in children is that at least 10% of children could have a long COVID, and by that I mean maybe brain fog or ability to concentrate, problems sleep, fatigue, ”said Dr. Landers.

The ADPH hopes parents will encourage their children to disguise themselves, to distance themselves socially, to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are eligible, and to self-isolate for a full 10 days if they come in close contact with it. the virus. State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey is also urging parents to be patient with district staff trying to navigate COVID-19 protocols and mask requirements.

“We’re still obviously, really really pushing for vaccinations, and I’ve gotten a lot of hate emails about it as well,” Mackey said.

More than 9,000 new cases were reported by ADHD this week among K-12 students across the state, more than double the previous week.

“That peak ended up hitting us like the perfect storm because the peak came right as the schools were opening their doors,” Mackey said.

And state health official Dr Scott Harris is concerned that the virus could spread from children to loved ones and other members of the community, ultimately putting additional strain on the system. Alabama’s already overwhelmed health care system. Hospitals statewide continue to face a shortage of staffed intensive care beds, with the Alabama Hospital Association reporting a shortage of 83 beds.

“It’s just a terrible situation. This means that these patients are receiving intensive care care, but it is not in an intensive care unit, it is in an emergency department or they are on a stretcher in the hallway, ”said Dr Harris. .

Meanwhile, Dr Landers is urging parents who fear getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19 to turn to their family doctor and ask their advice before making a final decision.

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