Penn State Health reports slight increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Over the past six weeks, doctors at Penn State Health have seen an increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases. There have also been reports of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C).

It’s associated with COIVD-19 and children and can cause inflammation of the heart. Symptoms include fever, rash, or abdominal pain.

“That comes usually a week to several weeks after they were actually diagnosed and had the initial illness and those kids can get sick very quickly,” said Dr. Laura Duda, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital.

Many of the symptoms for children who don’t require hospitalizations are mild. Parents should be on the lookout for fever, congestion, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Health experts also want to remind parents not to skip wellness visits or vaccinations.

“The problem is that it makes us run the risk of having outbreaks of other diseases such as measles or varicella during the time when we’re trying to do our best during this pandemic of COVID,” Dr. Duda said.

While the public waits for the COVID-19 vaccine, young children may have to wait even longer.

“We’re many months to a year or more even before these vaccines will really be ready for widespread use in children,” said Dr. Jessica Ericson, pediatric infectious disease physician at the Children’s Hospital.

Many of the vaccine companies are just now beginning trials on young children.

“In younger ages, because children’s immune systems work a little bit differently than adults, we don’t know for sure how effective the vaccines would be or if they should get a different dose for instance,” Dr. Ericson said.

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