New medical article shares pediatricians perspective of COVID-19s impact on children – KETV Omaha

An Omaha epidemiologist and pediatrician helped write a new article in a national medical journal that sheds light on the impact COVID-19 has had on children across the country.As of Wednesday, fewer than 14% of Douglas County’s coronavirus cases are among people 19 and younger. Still, Dr. Alice Sato of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center said there’s too much at stake for children to lose focus on not just COVID-19, but also the new, and sometimes deadly inflammatory syndrome that manifests after the initial disease.”Yes, fewer children are in the hospital; fewer children are dying than older adults, but there’s still important reasons to look at children in terms of protecting them from getting infected,” Sato said.Sato and several colleagues from across the country published their article in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.Among several highlights, pediatricians wrote that even when kids have shown mild or no symptoms of COVID-19, more serious problems can appear within weeks and without warning, thanks to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, also known as “MIS-C.””Some of the children who presented with MIS-C had no symptoms prior that they recognized, that their family recognized prior to presenting with (the syndrome),” Sato said.The article also touches on several discussions that can directly impact a child’s health and recovery:COVID-19 can greatly disrupt family and peer networks, which could later exacerbate disparities in overall health and education.Clinical trials of potential vaccines need to include pediatric patients of COVID-19/MIS-C, as well as pregnant women.Some children live in family/group situations that may not allow for physical separation if a member of the household is infected or exposed.Health systems should recognize that adult family members play a crucial role during inpatient care, outpatient care and overall infection prevention.There’s no documented evidence that women who have COVID-19 have subsequently transmitted the virus to their child while directly breastfeeding.Dr. Sato said Omaha has reported 10 known cases of MIS-C; the CDC confirmed 792 cases and 16 deaths nationwide. Sato said she wants parents to help reduce risk. If they fear they’ve been exposed, families can wear masks inside their homes or try to quarantine in separate rooms.If children end up in the hospital, Sato said doctors will need those families to help kids recover emotionally as well as physically.”We have to allow for them to be part of the care team — in the hospital, in the clinic,” she said. Sato says pediatricians also want upcoming vaccine test trials to see how a dose impacts a child who’s already recovering from COVID-19 or MIS-C. “We don’t know whether they need or if it will be safe to vaccinate, if we get a vaccine. So, there are a lot of questions we have about what’s going to happen with these children,” she said.In the meantime, Sato said, Children’s Hospital will track patients who have had COVID-19 and MIS-C very closely. They will also look at how they respond to treatment, but acknowledge they won’t know if or when a longer-term effect will appear.

An Omaha epidemiologist and pediatrician helped write a new article in a national medical journal that sheds light on the impact COVID-19 has had on children across the country.

As of Wednesday, fewer than 14% of Douglas County’s coronavirus cases are among people 19 and younger.

Still, Dr. Alice Sato of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center said there’s too much at stake for children to lose focus on not just COVID-19, but also the new, and sometimes deadly inflammatory syndrome that manifests after the initial disease.

“Yes, fewer children are in the hospital; fewer children are dying than older adults, but there’s still important reasons to look at children in terms of protecting them from getting infected,” Sato said.

Sato and several colleagues from across the country published their article in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

Among several highlights, pediatricians wrote that even when kids have shown mild or no symptoms of COVID-19, more serious problems can appear within weeks and without warning, thanks to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, also known as “MIS-C.”

“Some of the children who presented with MIS-C had no symptoms prior that they recognized, that their family recognized prior to presenting with (the syndrome),” Sato said.

The article also touches on several discussions that can directly impact a child’s health and recovery:

  • COVID-19 can greatly disrupt family and peer networks, which could later exacerbate disparities in overall health and education.
  • Clinical trials of potential vaccines need to include pediatric patients of COVID-19/MIS-C, as well as pregnant women.
  • Some children live in family/group situations that may not allow for physical separation if a member of the household is infected or exposed.
  • Health systems should recognize that adult family members play a crucial role during inpatient care, outpatient care and overall infection prevention.
  • There’s no documented evidence that women who have COVID-19 have subsequently transmitted the virus to their child while directly breastfeeding.

Dr. Sato said Omaha has reported 10 known cases of MIS-C; the CDC confirmed 792 cases and 16 deaths nationwide. Sato said she wants parents to help reduce risk. If they fear they’ve been exposed, families can wear masks inside their homes or try to quarantine in separate rooms.

If children end up in the hospital, Sato said doctors will need those families to help kids recover emotionally as well as physically.

“We have to allow for them to be part of the care team — in the hospital, in the clinic,” she said.

Sato says pediatricians also want upcoming vaccine test trials to see how a dose impacts a child who’s already recovering from COVID-19 or MIS-C. “We don’t know whether they need or if it will be safe to vaccinate, if we get a vaccine. So, there are a lot of questions we have about what’s going to happen with these children,” she said.

In the meantime, Sato said, Children’s Hospital will track patients who have had COVID-19 and MIS-C very closely. They will also look at how they respond to treatment, but acknowledge they won’t know if or when a longer-term effect will appear.