Rady Children's Hospital

Number of COVID-19 Cases Among Young Children on the Rise Amid Omicron Surge

More cases, more tests, more hospitalizations...disease, more mild

NBC Universal, Inc.

The number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 is at its highest rate since the start of the pandemic, according to the California Department of Public Health. At Rady Children’s Hospital, the number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 more than tripled in just the last week.

Rady Children’s Hospital held a news conference Monday morning to talk about the rising numbers.

Dr. John Bradley, the medical director of infectious diseases at Rady’s said the cases are up and testing is up, but children, specifically children 12 and under, are not getting chronic infections. 

“Children are doing well, they’re not dying of COVID. Omicron is spreading incredibly efficiently among the pediatric population, so kids are picking it up, but I don’t want people to worry that children are in the hospital sick with COVID,” said Bradley.

That’s the good news. The bad news is “Omicron is spreading like wild fire.” That is the biggest reason to worry, said Bradley.

“Children are the most efficient means to spread viruses in a community, to parents, grandparents and people who are immunocompromised," the doctor said. "We know this from influenza, so if we could knock down the number of kids with COVID, we can prevent the spread in the older population.”

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