WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Over the past few months, we've seen how COVID-19 can make some children very sick. There's new information on the impact the omicron variant had and where cases stand now.
Only a few months after the winter surge and the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the CDC said the omicron variant landed a lot of children in the hospital.
"We do know that with the last omicron surge that children were a lot more disproportionately affected," said Dr. Kitonga Kiminyo, a South Florida infectious disease specialist.
A new report from the CDC now says among nearly 400 children ages 5 to 11 hospitalized with COVID-19 during the first months of omicron, 3 in 10 had no underlying conditions, 9 in 10 were unvaccinated, and 2 in 10 required ICU care.
Children with diabetes and obesity were more likely to experience severe COVID-19.
Right now, COVID cases for children are trending up once again.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 33,000 kids tested positive for the week ending April 14, but those numbers are drastically down from the peak in January.
And several pediatricians tell WPTV they are not seeing that increase currently in South Florida.
"If you want your child to have a healthy summer where they're not only affected by COVID, but by the complications of COVID, get your children vaccinated," Kiminyo said.
Johns Hopkins University is reporting new cases are up for all age groups in more than half of the country as more masks come off and the BA.2 omicron subvariant continues to spread.
"I think we should always be prepared for a surge," Kiminyo said.
Doctors are reminding parents children 5 to 11 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and those at high-risk are encouraged to keep the mask on.
"Because there has been a relaxing of some of the precautions in the country, I think people tend to think that they're done with COVID, but people need to know that COVID is not done with us," Kiminyo said.