WATCH: Children’s of Alabama pediatrician talks how the Delta variant is affecting kids


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The coronavirus has proved to be a threat for the past year and a half, but the Delta variant has shown to be a bit more difficult on medical experts and children.

Dr. Gigi Youngblood, pediatrician at Children’s of Alabama, spoke with CBS 42 Morning News on Thursday to discuss the rise in COVID-19 cases among children. She said the data surrounding the Delta variant and children is concerning.

Hospital leaders said the trend began in mid-August and has now reached its highest point ever during the pandemic. The Alabama Hospital Association said it’s hard to put a numeric value on when volume becomes too much for hospitals to handle, but officials said they need more staff to keep providing quality care.

Statewide, 2,880 people are in hospitals suffering from COVID-19 complications. We learned Wednesday that 52 of those patients are children. Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham reported 20 COVID-19 positive patients Wednesday. 

The data provided by AHA also showed 1,634 patients needing ICU-level attention. The state has 1,542 ICU beds, indicating the state is short 92 intensive care beds.  

The overwhelming percentage of adult COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals had not been vaccinated. 

A study of 3,065 children who tested positive for COVID-19 in England found as many as 1 in 7 of them were still experiencing symptoms 15 weeks later. Researchers compared about 3,000 11-to-17-year-olds who tested positive for COVID-19 with a control group of about 3,700 who tested negative.

Fifteen weeks later, Reuters reports, about 14% of those who tested positive were still suffering three or more symptoms.

The full interview can be watched in the video player above.

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