The number of children and teens hospitalized for Covid has risen nationwide in December, and figures posted Wednesday show that trend in Southeast Michigan and statewide.
Seventy-eight young patients with confirmed or suspected pandemic infections are in Michigan hospitals today, according to the state health department. That's up from 52 on Dec. 20 -- a 50% jump in just nine days. (Pediatric patients range from babies to 18-year-olds.)
By comparison, adult hospitalizations for Covid rose 4.3% during that same time to reach 2,204.
Fifty-five of the current pediatric cases are at hospitals in the tricounty Detroit area and three neighboring counties, according to Department of Health and Human Services data displayed by regions. Today's figure is up from 33 on Dec. 20 -- 67% higher.
Eleven pediatric patients with Covid symptoms or diagnoses were admitted since Monday in two regions covering Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Monroe and St. Clair. Pandemic admissions for adults in those counties rose 6% since Monday, compared to 20% for adolescents and kids.
Because the pediatric numbers are much smaller, even modest increases appear dramatic in percentage terms. Yet the figures reflect a nationwide situation drawing attention. NBC News reported Tuesday:
In the last four weeks, the average number of children hospitalized with Covid-19 jumped 52 percent, from a low of 1,270 on Nov. 29 to 1,933 on Sunday, according to an NBC News analysis of Department of Health and Human Services data.
In the same time period, adult Covid hospitalizations increased 29 percent, suggesting that pediatric hospitalizations rose at nearly twice the rate.
A doctor at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said on the network's "Today" show that an increase was expected because winter keeps more youngsters inside weather and because the now-dominant Omicron variant is highly contagious.
An Illinois-based medical group, the American Academy of Pediatrics, posts Monday about all pandemic diagnoses among young Americans -- including those not hospitalized:
Covid-19 cases among U.S. children are extremely high and increasing. For the week ending Dec 23, almost 199,000 child Covid-19 cases were reported, a 50% increase over the weekly new cases at the beginning of December.
Over 7.5 million children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic, representing 1 in 10 U.S. children. For the 20th week in a row, child Covid-19 cases are above 100,000. Since the first week of September, there have been over 2.5 million additional child cases. ...
At this time, it appears that severe illness due to Covid-19 is uncommon among children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data to assess the severity of illness related to new variants as well as the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.