Charlotte hospital systems see increase in children testing positive for COVID-19

Updated: Jul. 1, 2020 at 6:28 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Both major hospital systems in Charlotte, NC say they are seeing an increase in positive coronavirus tests in children lately.

Last week, Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital Epidemiologist Dr. Amina Ahmed said the hospital system was reporting an 11 percent positive rate in children. Novant Health Pediatrics Symphony Park Dr. Kasey Scannell says there is a 13 percent positive rate in children tested by their system.

“The good thing with children is they are really handling it better than adults as far as milder symptoms and fewer children needing hospitalized,” Dr. Scannell said.

Dr. Scannell says there is just one child currently hospitalized within Novant Health, and in the last two weeks they have had no new hospitalizations.

While many children will recover from COVID-19, there are some instances in which there are severe cases of the virus in children. In cases where a child need hospitalizations, Dr. Scannell says they are able to use some antivirals to treat children.

Levine Children’s Hospital will soon launch a clinical trial testing Remdesivir in children with COVID-19.

“We definitely made it a priority to have something to treat children with. There’s a lot of clinical trials in adults and they do clinical trials in adults first to make sure it’s safe before trickling down to children. Children are often not included in clinical trials early on even though we may advocate for that,” Dr. Amina Ahmed said.

Until a vaccine or more reliable treatment becomes known, Dr. Scannell says masks are the most effective form of protection for everyone, including children.

“It’s been proven that’s the best thing we can do for our community especially for the little ones who just cannot keep a mask on their face,” Dr. Scannell said.

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