JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Health officials at Baptist Medical Center said they saw their largest number of pediatric patients in August 2021. Establishing safe schools during the pandemic is a growing concern as the COVID-19 case numbers rise in Mississippi children.
“You know at the start of the pandemic, we thought we were spared in the pediatric population, but the Delta variant is different,” said Dr. Rae Quigley.
Different and deadly in some cases, as the Delta variant is stronger and more transmissible. At Baptist Medical Center, three COVID positive pediatric cases were admitted to the hospital. Masking, social distancing and hand washing are the top of the list for best safety measures.
“Trying to encourage your children to make it a fun opportunity for them to wear a mask, wash their hands a part of their every day part of life will get them used to that change that transition,” said Dr. Quigley.
Since the start of the pandemic, there were a total of 28 pediatric patients that fall anywhere from babies up to 18 years old.
“Two years of age and above need to wear a mask. Those that are below two years do not just because it’s more of a safety hazard in that population.”
Dr. Quigley supports the return to in-person instruction in classrooms.
“If someone who is vaccinated comes in contact with a COVID-19 patients who is positive, they actually don’t have to quarantine unless they have symptoms.”
Experts said depression cases have climbed within the last year and a half among adolescents.
“Getting the vaccine is our biggest defense because it will stop the variant from mutating to another variant which may possibly be worse,” said Dr. Quigley.
As many as 300 pediatric cases have been admitted to hospitals in the last day across the nation.
Dr. Quigley said they are still seeing cases as of Wednesday, September 1, where people are taking the livestock drug Ivermectin for COVID-19. Health experts have advised patients not to take the drug.