NYS Health Department issues warning of an increase in pediatric hospitalizations from COVID-19

These recent increases have been concentrated around New York City, where the ommicron variety is spreading.

NEW YORK — The New York State Department of Health has issued a health advisory to health care providers about an increasing trend in pediatric hospitalizations related to COVID-19. This recent increase is centered around New York City, where the ommicron variety was first recorded and spreading.

“The risks of COVID-19 to children are real,” said Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.We are warning New Yorkers of this recent marked increase in pediatric COVID-19 admissions so that pediatricians, parents and guardians can take urgent action to protect our youngest New Yorkers. We must use all available safe and effective strategies for infection control, prevention and mitigation. Protect your children aged five and over by getting them fully vaccinated and protect children under five by making sure everyone around them is protected through vaccination, boosters, wearing masks, avoiding crowds and testing.

A fourfold increase in the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 for children 18 and under as of the week of December 5 in New York City, according to data from NYSDOH. During the week of December 19, not a single child aged 5-11 who had been fully vaccinated was hospitalized. During the same period, a third of 12-17 year olds admitted were fully vaccinated.

The NYSDOH is urging parents to have their children 5 and older vaccinated. The ministry also proposes to protect children under the age of 5 by ensuring that those around them are vaccinated, stimulated, wear proper masks, avoid crowds and get tested.

The department also encourages parents and guardians to be aware of common COVID-19 symptoms in their children, including fatigue, headaches, difficulty sleeping, muscle aches, cough that becomes productive, sore throat, chills, nasal congestion and new loss of taste or smell.

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