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Driven by childhood infections, Michigan’s COVID-19 cases surge



When federal officials warned that the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections might occur, Michigan has become one of the most urgent hotspots, and today’s average daily infection rate is five times what it was six weeks ago.

New data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows that the main reason for this sharp increase is the surge in the number of children and adolescents.

According to state data, since February 19, the average daily number of new COVID-19 cases for children under ten has jumped by 230%, more than any other age group. The second highest rise in infections was among the 1

0 to 19-year-olds, with an increase of 227% in infection cases. The trends of these groups exceed the trends of the entire country.

In other parts of the United States, the number of cases among children is on the rise. In Minnesota, people under the age of 20 in March accounted for nearly a quarter of reported cases, compared with less than 15% at the end of February. Similar trends are seen in other states such as Illinois and Massachusetts. According to the latest data from the American Academy of Pediatrics, between March 18 and March 25, more than 64,000 new cases of children were reported nationwide, which is the highest weekly record in a month.

According to Michigan physicians and infectious disease experts, most of the increase in pediatric cases is related to the reopening of schools and youth sports. State data show that more than 40% of new outbreaks (defined as two or more cases linked by location and time) come from K-12 schools or youth programs. However, Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, a senior public health physician at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said that social gatherings after youth sporting events also contributed to this spread.

She said: “If everyone takes off their masks and goes out to dinner to celebrate the victory, then all these preventive measures will be introduced.” “Indeed, it seems to be driving this growth.”

The state allows schools to resume contact sports on February 8, but not every sport must be tested. More than a month later, it adjusted this policy, requiring every sport to be tested, whether it is contact or non-contact, and this change will take effect on Friday. Baghdad Salian said that, like other mitigation measures, this change has also been suppressed.

Although the children are usually Less risk of severe cases Of COVID-19, some people have suffered Serious illness. Some children will continue to develop a disease called multiple system inflammation syndrome (MIS-C) after infection. This rare disease may affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. As of March 1, more than 2,600 cases have been reported nationwide, with 33 deaths.

Doctors in Michigan worry that the current surge in COVID infections will lead to an increase in this syndrome in the coming weeks and months. Bagdasarian said interestingly that this has already happened.

Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest healthcare system, said its MIS-C cases are on the rise. Dr. Bishara Freij, head of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Unit at Beaumont Royal Oak, said his hospital had 3 cases of MIS-C in the ICU last month, compared with a total of 8 cases this calendar year. He said that MIS-C cases usually lag behind the peak of infection by 2 to 6 weeks, which raises concerns about more infected people.

One of the three MIS-C patients at Beaumont Royal Oak in March was 4-year-old Julian Elkhoury, who worked in the intensive care unit (ICU) for six days . Her parents said that before their children entered the emergency room, they had little or no knowledge of MIS-C. She added that the early symptoms looked like normal head cold until they escalated to include persistent skin rashes.

Juliana’s mother, Michelle, said: “This is really a terrifying experience.” “The hard thing to go through with your children is that you just want to protect yourself all the time, but you don’t want to see it in the ICU. They, because their tubes are hooked everywhere, and have gone through this process.” Both parents urged others to reconsider whether social activities are essential and whether it is worth the risk.

In recent days, federal health officials have insisted that although the epidemic is about to end, now is not the time to relax restrictions, especially to cover up tasks. The recent rise in infections caused the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, to express sympathy earlier this week when he warned of a feeling of “coming doom.”

She said: “We don’t have the luxury of doing nothing.”

Although officials are concerned about the increase in pediatric cases and their contribution to community transmission, research on the COVID-19 vaccine for children is making progress. Preliminary data from Pfizer shows that the vaccine is fully effective in children aged 12 to 15, which is an important sign of hope. All three vaccines approved in the United States have been tested in children, and it is expected that vaccination for certain age groups can begin before the fall school year. Bagdasarian stated that the vaccine must be provided as soon as possible.

She said: “Buying vaccines for children of this age is our best opportunity to gain immunity from the cattle herd.”

Freij pointed out that at the same time, it is important for adults to overcome any hesitation and decide to shoot.

He said: “Our health is closely related. We stood together and fell.” “And I think people should relax some of their firm beliefs and try to help people around them.”


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