CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Delta variant of COVID-19 is proving to be more dangerous to children. As of Monday, there are six children being treated at Driscoll Children’s Hospital for COVID-19, with one in the ICU, according to Driscoll Executive Vice President and COO, Dr. Mary Dale Peterson.
Dr. Peterson said that number is down from last week, where there were around 20 patients being treated for the virus, but the numbers are still alarming.
“It does concern me that we’re seeing a lot in the emergency department, and our testing last week showed that about one in four children were testing positive for COVID,” she said.
Dr. Peterson said COVID-19 is not the only respiratory illness affecting children at Driscoll, as there are as many patients being treated for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a virus that causes cold-like symptoms, but typically only occurs in the winter.
According to Dr. Peterson, the best way to protect your family is with the vaccine.
“If they’re 12 years of age or older, get your child vaccinated. For younger children, have all the adults around that child vaccinated. Most of the children we see coming into our hospital are getting COVID from a family member,” she said.
Dr. Peterson also said that contact-tracing data has shown that a lot of kids are contracting COVID-19 from their peers when masks are not being worn, like at school lunch time. She said masks are important to help slow the spread of the virus, and adults have to demonstrate proper mask-wearing for their kids to follow.
“[Children] are pretty good at mimicking what adults do. So, if we model good behavior, they are more likely to do that even when we’re not around to remind them,” she said.