DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — According to pediatric specialists, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is filling children’s hospitals across Ohio and the country with patients.
“We have twice as many children in the hospital now than we ever had a year ago with COVID. And some of those children are in the ICU, and some of those ICU children do require a ventilator,” said Dr. Adam Mezoff, vice president and chief medical officer of Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus is reporting approximately 20 children with COVID in their hospitals. Five of them are in the ICU and two are on a ventilator. At least one of the children does not have any underlying health conditions that would make them predisposed for COVID according to Dr. Rustin Morse. the hospital’s chief medical officer,
“It does happen that children who are healthy do get COVID and can end up in our intensive care unit,” said Morse.
This week, both Dayton Children’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital joined more than 60 other children’s hospitals across the country and the Children’s Hospital Association to call on leaders in the private and public sector to take more action to protect children.
The message — signed by the leaders of these hospitals — says that vaccines, social distancing, hygiene and mask wearing are all effective ways to protect children from COVID and should be used.
“Here’s what makes me encouraged and also somewhat frustrated,” said Dr. Mezoff. “I think we have the tools to make this go away, we’re just not using them.”
Doctors at Nationwide Children’s say at the same time, they’re seeing more children in the hospital with RSV. Usually, outbreaks happen in the winter but they’re now happening in the summer which is a cause for concern.
Overall, as school continues, these pediatric specialists are encouraging more serious efforts to enforce mask wearing and getting people vaccinated. A doctor with Nationwide Children’s said that only about 50 percent of children eligible for the vaccine are vaccinated, and we should be closer to 95 percent of this population to slow the spread.