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How COVID-19′s omicron variant is impacting children in North Carolina

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children represent roughly 17.8 percent of cases nationwide.
St. Jude Children’s Hospital creates coloring book explaining COVID-19 to children
As the Omicron variant surges, more children are also getting the virus.(tcw-wvue)
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:32 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:37 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the omicron variant of COVID-19 surges, more children are also getting the virus.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children represent roughly 17.8 percent of cases nationwide.

That data also shows children only represent between 0.1 and 1.5 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Lincolnton father Christian Chavis told WBTV he is relieved his 6-month-old son Weston is doing well, after a scary bout with COVID-19.

Chavis, his girlfriend and his son all tested positive two weeks ago.

He says he and his girlfriend are vaccinated and had mild symptoms, and while his son is not eligible for the vaccine, he did pretty well overall.

“One or two nights he would just wake up in the middle of the night feeling really bad, and when he tried to cough there was barely any sound coming out, so I assume he had a severe sore throat,” Chavis said.

Doctors say without a test it can be difficult to know whether your child has COVID-19 or not because Omicron does not always lead to a loss of taste or smell.

Symptoms can be mild or similar to that of other common illnesses.

“Upper respiratory symptoms like stuffy nose, congestion, sore throat, coughing, low-grade fever,” Dr. Sumon Bhowmick with Novant Health Waverly Pediatrics & Primary Care, said. “Even sometimes abdominal symptoms like cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.”

Dr. Bhowmick says if your child has any of these symptoms, or had a known exposure, they should consider getting tested.

“If 30 people get COVID in one day that’s really problematic, but if 30 people get COVID over a month then maybe we can spread this out a little bit more, because that’s where we’re at now, is being able to keep our schools open,” he said.

He says it when it comes to preventing infection and spread, the same things that have worked since day one continue to be your child’s best option.

“Having a mask on your face, along with social distancing, hand washing, vaccinations, making sure that we live a healthy lifestyle, if you put all of those things together that will decrease the spread and decrease severity,” he said.

For more information from Novant Health, click here.

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