KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Doctors at a subway hospital issued a warning about the possibility of a “perfect storm”.
Public health leaders are noticing a small increase in COVID-19 infections among children, which, according to doctors at Children’s Mercy Hospital, may be related to Thanksgiving gatherings.
On Friday, a pediatrician told reporters that virtually all of the current COVID-19 patients at that hospital were unvaccinated.
Now, the re-emergence of the old viral enemy – the flu – is causing great concern.
Missouri public health officials report that the virus is making its way across the Midwest, and it’s found to be nearly identical to St. Louis.
Flu season is virtually nonexistent in 2020, as mask use and social distancing have helped limit the spread of the virus. Here at the end of 2021, those precautions are no longer routinely taken. That creates an opportunity for the virus to spread.
“We actually had an increase in COVID cases during Thanksgiving Week,” said Dr. Angela Myers, pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Myers said low rates of COVID vaccination among teenagers, as well as concerns about the flu – have prompted infectious disease experts to sound the alarm early. Myers, as well as her colleagues at the hospital, said public mask regulations and school mask requirements were cause for concern. Many school districts on the subway have seen mask regulations lapse.
“We want children to go to school every day. Last year we didn’t have those luxuries. This year we have the luxury of being able to keep kids in school and the best way is to keep all kids wearing masks. We don’t have a significant portion of that – even the oldest kids – vaccinated at this point,” Myers said.
“If the numbers go up and we have another increase in the number of patients needing hospital beds, we could be back where we were back in August, where we were really shuffling and everything such a thing,” said Dr. Jennifer Watts, an emergency management specialist at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
The upcoming holiday gatherings also worry doctors, as many families will have unvaccinated members and pandemic guidelines are often overlooked in family gatherings.
“We had to make some tough decisions even in my family. It’s hard and I understand how people struggle with this,” Meyers told reporters. “We have to remember the long game and I know it’s difficult.”
Certain occurrences of omicron variation also cause concern for physicians. Pediatricians are quick to point out possible co-infections, and having both the “flu” and the coronavirus is a real concern. Vaccines are the recommended protection against both infections.
https://fox4kc.com/news/childrens-mercy-doctors-warn-kansas-city-could-see-perfect-storm/ Children Mercy doctors warn Kansas City could see ‘perfect storm’