(WTRF) – West Virginians are watching the COVID numbers every day across the state and parents are probably increasingly concerned at the case numbers in children.
So, how did we get here? What aren’t we doing that we should be?
Dr. Kathryn Moffett, a Pediatric Infections Disease Specialist and Professor of Pediatrics with WVU Medicine said there are really two preventative measures we need: vaccinations and masks.
That’s been the message the entire pandemic, but with how contagious COVID has become, that’s the best way to stop the surge we’re already seeing in schools, communities and hospitals.
Dr. Kathryn Moffett explained most of what’s circulating now is the Omicron variant and we are not yet at the peak of cases.
I think those six-feet, 15-minute rule guidelines for the original SARS-CoV-2 virus are not enough for Omicron. It’s somewhere between two to five times more contagious than Delta and Delta was two to five times more. So, if you do the math on that, it’s somewhere between 10 to 25 times more contagious than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.Dr. Kathryn Moffett, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist and Professor of Pediatrics, WVU Medicine
When it comes to COVID and kids. Dr. Moffett explained that studies are being done and we’re continuing to learn new information.
We thought that kids couldn’t get COVID. That was what we thought, you know, two years ago. It’s almost been two years now. Then we thought ‘oh kids get COVID, but they don’t transmit it’. Well, we actually know that’s not true.Dr. Kathryn Moffett, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist and Professor of Pediatrics, WVU Medicine
Because of which age groups are more likely to bring the virus home, Dr. Moffett says first and foremost children should get vaccinated.
Kids as young as five-years-old can get their doses and the 12 to 17 age group can now get boosted if it’s been more than six-months since their first vaccinations.
The adolescents are more likely to be the ones to go out in the community and get COVID and come home with COVID. They’re not the one in the family who’s the one that’s the transmitter. The ones who are most likely to give it to all the family members are the little ones and I’m not surprised by that. A two-year-old you hold. You can’t distance from your two-year-old very well.Dr. Kathryn Moffett, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist and Professor of Pediatrics, WVU Medicine
There’s one more precaution parents can take, especially when sending their kids off to class.
This is my opinion, I think schools need to go back to masks.Dr. Kathryn Moffett, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist and Professor of Pediatrics, WVU Medicine
There is a little bit of encouraging news. Dr. Moffett said she hasn’t heard about a lot of breakthrough COVID cases in younger children who have been vaccinated.
She also added there have been less cases of the already rare MIS-C complication associated with COVID in younger patients.
Dr. Moffett also addressed the timetable for COVID-19 vaccines in the younger children under five and said scientists are still looking at dosage amounts to get the numbers correct. She believes we will see data by summer.