Arkansas data shows Delta’s heavy toll on children


02 October 2021

1 minute read


Romero JR, et al. Abstract LB10. Presented at: IDWeek; 29 Sep-Oct 3, 2021 (virtual meeting).

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Arkansas health officials reported data on COVID-19 cases during IDWeek that demonstrates the heavy toll the delta variant has taken on the state’s children.

During a peak in July, although the number of pediatric cases of COVID-19 was lower than the last peak in January, hospitalizations and other indications of serious illness increased significantly, according to Michel Cima, PhD, MPH, state epidemiologist for the Arkansas Department of Health and colleagues.

Arkansas Department of Health officials have reported that while the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases has declined since January, hospitalizations have increased. Source: Adobe Stock

Cima conducted the research with Infectious diseases in children Member of the Editorial Board José R. Romero, MD, the Secretary of State for Health, and Donald E. Warden, MPH, another epidemiologist in the department.

During a presentation, Cima noted that the delta variant became the dominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus in Arkansas in June and early July.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that the delta variant is not only much more infectious than the next most infectious variant of concern, but is also potentially more virulent, so naturally the question was asked: how did the delta variant come about? it have an impact on the pediatric population? Is more serious illness observed? Cima said.

Researchers looked at pediatric records during the 3 months they called “key inflection points” for the COVID-19 pandemic in Arkansas: July 2020, January 2021, and July 2021. They looked at hospitalization rates and intensive care use, the use of mechanical ventilation and, “to a lesser extent,” Cima said.

Data showed that pediatric cases of COVID-19 numbered 3,268 in July 2020, 11,735 in January 2021 and 8,031 in July 2021. Despite nearly 32% fewer cases occurring in July 2021 compared to January, there were approximately 42% more hospitalizations (105 vs. 74), 69% additional intensive care admissions (18 vs. 11) and a 300% increase in the use of mechanical ventilation. reported Cima and his colleagues.

Cima said the availability of PICU beds was reaching a statewide figure. He also noted that the state had seen fewer cases of MIS-C over the summer but that there was a possibility that cases could increase because there is usually a delay between infection and the onset of symptoms. by MIS-C.

The references:

  • Romero, J, et al. Abstract LB10. Presented at: IDWeek; 29 Sep-Oct 3, 2021 (virtual meeting).


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