Pediatric COVID-19 cases surge in Tennessee


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s a new COVID-19 trend published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Tennessee leads the U.S. right now in the percentage of our COVID cases that are under the age of 18,” said Dr. Isaac Thomsen, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

According to the report published on July 23, Tennessee was one of nine states where pediatric cases of COVID-19 exceed 10,000. Tennessee now has 13,264 pediatric cases which make up 15.7% of total active cases in our state.

“In Tennessee data, in pediatric patients, that includes patients up to the age of 20,” explained Dr. Marshall Hall, Emergency Medicine Specialist at TriStar Skyline Medical Center.

Local doctors believe a majority of active pediatric cases are adolescents and pre-teens.

“There’s nothing to suggest that a Tennessee child is more at risk than any other child in the U.S. It’s not susceptibility, it’s probably an exposure and active thing, sports, camps, things like that,” said Dr. Thomsen.

As more people move about the state, a steady rise in cases puts 97% of Tennessee counties near-critical outbreak status.

The AAD report also indicates 76 pediatric patents have died, throughout the country from COVID-19. Three of those were in Tennessee which a majority having underlying health conditions.

“As the total of cases goes up,” said Dr. Hall, “Something with a very low mortality rate will occasionally cause deaths.”

Leaving doctors unable to say, with certainty, what will happen when students return to campus.

“There’s a lot we still don’t understand,” said Dr. Thomsen, “I don’t think anybody can say anything with a high degree of confidence what’s going to happen, because it’s all still too new.”

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