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VERIFY: Yes, more kids in Central Texas are getting COVID-19 due to the delta variant

Doctors in Austin and Houston say they have seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among kids in the past few weeks.

TEXAS, USA — With kids headed back to school and COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rapidly increasing in Central Texas, parents want to know how safe it is.

Question: 

"Are more kids getting COVID-19 due to the delta variant?"

Result:

We can verify that yes, more kids are now getting COVID-19 due to the delta variant.

Sources:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Dr. Jim Versalovic, Pathologist-in-Chief and Interim Pediatrician-in-Chief at Texas Children's Hospital
  • Dr. Donald Murphey, Pediatric Infectious Disease Doctor at Dell Children's Medical Center

Process:

The American Academy of Pediatrics says, nationally, 94,000 kids tested positive for COVID-19 in the one-week span of July 29 through Aug. 5. They say this is a continuing substantial increase and that cases have been increasing since the start of July.

So, what about here in Texas?

"Yes, more kids are getting COVID,” said Dr. Donald Murphey, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Dell Children's Medical Center. “And I think pediatricians here in Austin are concerned about this, and children's hospitals across Texas are seeing the same things.”

"We have certainly reached a new peak in terms of hospitalized children, just during the past three days,” said Dr. Jim Versalovic, pathologist-in-chief and interim pediatrician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital. “This week, over the last seven days, we reached a new high in terms of the number of cases per week. So clearly, we're seeing many more children, symptomatic cases in children and adolescents presenting in testing and diagnosis. We have confirmed COVID in these cases, well over 90% of these children stay out of the hospital, but a substantial portion do need hospitalization."

Is the delta variant the cause of this surge of cases in kids?

"I can say here in Austin, it's been the last two weeks that we started seeing kids being hospitalized, with this new delta variant of COVID kind of blossoming in the community,” said Dr. Murphey.

Kids under 12 are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which is one reason why they are getting sick with the delta variant.

This is leading to more kids being hospitalized, although the majority of kids are experiencing mild symptoms.  

The doctors we talked with are also seeing more children and infants with RSV, a contagious virus that causes respiratory infections and can lead to hospitalizations. You can read more about RSV, by clicking here.

If you have a question for our VERIFY team, email verify@kvue.com.

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