Pediatric COVID-19 Trends in Wisconsin — Nov. 17

Each week, Children’s Wisconsin will provide hospital census information to help our community better understand how respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), affect children. As the only health system in the state dedicated to children’s health, Children’s Wisconsin has the largest pediatric intensive care unit in the state. Check back on Wednesday for the latest update.

This week’s takeaway

dr. Mitchael Gutzeit

“We are encouraged by the interest we have seen from families in getting younger children vaccinated against COVID-19 and want to encourage the same enthusiasm for flu vaccination. With the holidays fast approaching, we want families to remember that if their child gets their first COVID-19 vaccine this week, they could be fully vaccinated by Christmas. And it only takes one shot to protect children from the flu. With the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise and flu season approaching, I hope families continue to have their children vaccinated. The more people are vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu before the holidays, the more likely we can avoid disruptions to the celebrations and get the whole family off to a healthy start into the New Year.”

– Michael Gutzeit, MD, medical director, Children’s Wisconsin

What has changed since last week

Hospital admissions in Children’s Wisconsin remain stable as COVID-19 cases double: Over the past week, the percentage of rooms occupied at Children’s Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukee remained stable. However, the number of children who tested positive for COVID-19 while admitted to Children’s Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukee doubled from 6 to 12.

Childhood COVID-19 Case Rate Increases Along With Statewide Hospitalization Rate: According to the latest data available from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), 26% of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin on Nov. 7 were under the age of 18. This is an increase of 21% in October. This, along with increased cases of COVID-19 observed in Children’s Wisconsin and an increase in child hospitalizations statewide, indicates that children in the community are increasingly testing positive and continue to contribute to the spread of the disease. virus.

Children’s Wisconsin began vaccinating children ages 5-11: All 20+ pediatric primary care units in Wisconsin provide the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children 5 years and older. In the past week, more than 7,000 COVID-19 vaccination appointments were scheduled at a Children’s Wisconsin site, and the partnership with the Milwaukee Health Department to deliver vaccinations to schools in the Milwaukee area, with walk-in clinics now operating through are planned for November. 23.

First signs of the 2021-2022 flu season in the United States: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report an increase in flu activity, which could potentially mark the start of the 2021-2022 flu season. Most flu activity was seen in young adults and children. Notably, the University of Michigan has reported a large and sudden increase in flu cases among students on its Ann Arbor campus.

What remains a point of attention

Cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) are increasing: A condition in which various organs can become inflamed, MIS-C has no apparent cause. However, many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or were close to someone with COVID-19. According to the Wisconsin DHS, the median age of confirmed MIS-C cases is 8, highlighting the importance of getting children aged 5-11 years vaccinated now that they are eligible. Nationally, more than 60% of reported MIS-C cases have occurred in children who are Hispanic or Latino, or non-Hispanic Black. In Wisconsin, more than 50% of MIS-C cases occur in people who are black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, or Asian or Pacific Islander, despite these communities of color representing less than 20% of the state population.

Mitigation is essential: In other parts of the country, schools in communities with lower vaccination rates and less rigorous mitigation efforts seem to experience more outbreaks. Until more eligible children receive the COVID-19 vaccine, masks will remain the best way to protect children from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Two studies published by the CDC provide additional evidence that masks protect children from COVID-19, even when community numbers are high and the more contagious Delta variant is circulating.

The W’s (and a V): To reduce the chances of children in Wisconsin being hospitalized for COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, we need everyone: wear masks, watch their distance, wash their hands, work or only go to school if they are healthy, and to the COVID-19 and flu vaccines when they qualify.

Childhood Vaccination Requirement Deadline in Wisconsin

Final compliance is 99 percent: We are grateful to the 99% of Children’s Wisconsin team members who met the November 15 COVID-19 and flu vaccination deadline.

Taking care of the sickest children: Our responsibility to care for the sickest children in the state has led us to require all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to our annual flu vaccine requirement. Not only does this provide the safest environment for children in our hospitals, it also helps reduce the chance of exposure in the community.

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