Childhood COVID-19 cases on the rise in omicron-fueled surge

Posted at 10:06 AM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 11:06:15-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The newest surge of new COVID-19 cases is making a big impact on kids.

CBS reports this past week the United States had more than 3 million new COVID-19 cases in total according to Johns Hopkins, a weekly case record. Additionally, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, childhood cases reached more than 325,000 during the week of December 23 to 30. During that week, childhood cases made up nearly 18% of all reported U.S. cases.

"Kids can get sick, but we have heard they do pretty well and most of the kids we have seen has been congestion, little bit of a cold," Pediatrician Dr. Katrina Hood said. "Yes, as a parent it's nerve-wracking for the kid, but also then because they expose others."

As of January 2, there are more than 600 new cases in Tennessee children aged 10 and younger. Daily new cases among this age group have been on the rise in recent weeks, however, they haven't climbed higher than the surge of cases during late summer 2021.

Sixty-one Tennessee kids are currently hospitalized because of COVID-19, which is up from just 11 hospitalizations on December 1. Last week the country was averaging 260 kids hospitalized a day.

Looking closer at Kentucky, there were about 1,400 new cases in kids ages 18 and younger on Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the omicron variant makes up for 95% of new COVID-19 infections across the country. In Metro Nashville, Dr. Gill Wright with the Metro Public Health Department said 50 to 55% of all cases in Davidson County are the omicron variant.