South Carolina – South Carolina has the second highest Covid-19 infection rate in children across the country since the start of the pandemic, according to a recent report.
American Academy for Pediatrics reports shows that South Carolina so far reported 14,600 positive cases in children for every 100,000 and the report has taken into consideration data as of last Thursday.
The local pediatricians have been urging everyone to get vaccinated since they are seeing this trend and this situation firsthand for more than a year and a half.
“In the last couple months, COVID and children has completely changed, we are seeing an unprecedented number of children admitted with COVID, admitted with severe COVID, requiring our highest level of care,” said Alison Eckerd, Division Director of MUSC Pediatric Infectious Disease Program.
The national average infection rate among children is 7.6% and this percentage in South Carolina is almost double. What is even more alarming is the fact that hospitals across the state have reported twice as more cases in the last two months compared to the entire pandemic.
“At one point half of our PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) had nothing but children with COVID. At one point, we had three children on lung bypass or ECMO. We have never seen numbers like that where three children were on ECMO for the same diagnosis.”
Other hospitals in the Lowcountry are seeing it too.
Douglas Holtzman, Medical Director for the Pediatric Division of Summerville Medical Center, has experienced an influx of patients in the past few weeks as well.
“It’s taking no prisoners. We’re seeing tons more kids and they’re sick. I mean, we’re putting adolescents in the ICU with respiratory difficulty needing oxygen,” Holtzman said. “I’ve been doing pediatric emergency medicine for 22 years now… I have never seen anything like this in my career.”
According to the recent data, one out of two children has gotten Covid-19 across the state in the last two months with the Delta wave in place.
This all comes at a time when South Carolina schools have reportedly had to quarantine around 35,000 students since the beginning of the school year.
“I’m hoping that parents knowing now that kids get very sick from it, and knowing that most parents really will vaccinate their children even if they don’t get vaccinated,” Holtzman said.
Health experts blame the low vaccination rate in people under 20 for the high infection rate in South Carolina. Health experts added that they see and expect major help in vaccinating children in the age of 5-11 when the Pfizer vaccine is approved in an effort to slow down the spread of the virus.