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New COVID-19 infections in Texas children raises alarm

Texas Children's Hospital reports a rise in omicron infections for kids under the age of 5.

AUSTIN, Texas — According to Texas Department of State Health and Human Services data, there are currently 279 kids with COVID-19 in hospitals across Texas. That's up nearly 150% from a week ago. 

Texas Children's Hospital (TCH), America's largest pediatric hospital, shared new updates in the fight against omicron on Monday. 

With kids headed back to the classroom this week, keeping students safe is a priority. This afternoon, TCH announced their first co-infection in a child in Houston. This means the patient tested positive for both COVID-19 and influenza. Health officials say that child is now out of the hospital and recovering. 

A major point TCH stressed during their press conference was if parents want to vaccinate their child for both COVID-19 and the flu, it is safe to get both vaccinations the same day.

Dr. Jim Versalovic, pathologist-in-chief and COVID-19 command center co-leader at Texas Children’s Hospital, says the COVID-19 vaccine should be the main priority due to how contagious omicron is.

"The headline right now is the fact that we're dealing with the most contagious variant to date in this pandemic, omicron. It's infecting a record number of children as well as adults. Because it's spreading so rapidly at the same time we are trying to deliver vaccines to school-aged children, of course it's making a real impact for children across this country," said Versalovic. 

Symptoms for COVID-19 to look out for may be mild by themselves but a combination is what health officials say we need to pay attention to. This includes sore throat, nasal congestion combined with headaches and muscle aches. If you do get a fever with shortness of breath, it's important to seek medical attention.

TCH said it's crucial that schools, teachers and parents monitor these symptoms to try and keep children as safe as possible. And to slow down COVID-19 for young kids that can't be vaccinated, they encourage parents to be vaccinated and get boosted, as boosters can play an important role in protecting families against omicron. 


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