NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Dr. Mark Kline at Children’s Hospital New Orleans says there are well over 50 percent of the kids at the hospital with COVID or COVID-like symptoms.
“The number of children being infected in the community is just massive right now,” Dr. Kline said.
Two weeks ago there were 3 children in the hospital with COVID. One week ago there were 14 children and as of today there are 21 and three children are in the ICU (intensive care unit.)
Dr. Kline said the majority of the hospitalizations are kids under 5 years old, who can’t be vaccinated yet or children over 5 years old who aren’t vaccinated.
“For kids under 5 years old who don’t have the option of vaccination, we’ve got to cocoon them, surround them with adults who have been vaccinated,” he said.
Dr. Kline went on to say, “There’s a myth that this virus was harmless for children. I hope that myth is long gone. I think its time we stop down playing the risk that the virus poses for children,” he said.
Another major concern is schools starting up again with in-person learning.
“I’m concerned with schools. I think congregating kids in classrooms with this surge peaking is unfortunate timing. I’m worried, I’m as worried as I’ve ever been right at this moment,” he said.
Dr. Kline said it is time to double-down.
“This omicron virus is more infectious than anything I’ve ever seen in practicing medicine for 30 years. It is hard to see children suffer and die, particularly when hospitalizations are entirely preventable through vaccination,” he said.