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Disease specialist breaks down COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations among children

According to Dr. Fergie with Driscoll Children's Hospital, some of the children hospitalized with COVID-19 are what they call incidental findings.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When it comes to COVID-19 among children, cases are continuing to rise across the Coastal Bend. 

Driscoll Children's Hospital reopened their drive thru testing operation to help meet the demand for COVID-19 testing. Driscoll Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Jaime Fergie said the number of patients the hospital is seeing at the testing sight is steadily increasing. 

“We have seen around 100 to120 patients coming through our drive thru everyday we have it open twice a week for the drive thru,” Fergie said. 

Positive cases are not the only issue that is concerning, it's also hospitalizations. Dr. Fergie said the numbers are not as alarming as one would think. 

“Yeah the number of cases are increasing," Fergie said. "And I can say the same thing about the number of cases or hospitalizations that are increasing 100% 200%, but that’s going from two-to-six, or two-to-four so it’s nothing that is stretching our resources here." 

Fergie adds that some of the children hospitalized with COVID-19 are what they call incidental findings.

“Very few are hospitalized with COVID-19, very very few," Fergie said. "Some of them really the reason they’re hospitalized is unrelated to COVID-19. They were hospitalized for another problem and because we test every single child who comes to the hospital it doesn’t matter what, for then we find out that some of them also has a positive COVID-19 test, and that’s what we’re seeing right now." 

Despite more children now being eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Fergie said the numbers aren't as high as health experts would like to see. 

“It is certainly disappointing and sad to see that so many people are choosing not to have their children vaccinated,” Fergie said. 

Last summer Driscoll was one of the hospitals selected to conduct the Pfizer vaccine’s clinical trials for children under 12. Dr. Fergie says they want to remind parents that the vaccine is safe and effective.

“Even though they’re not perfect, they are still very good at protecting you from being hospitalized or dying from COVID,” Fergie said.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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