Federal officials have issued a warning regarding a possible fourth wave of COVID19 infections in Michigan. Recently, Michigan has been recognized as one of the most vital hotspots with five times average increase in daily new cases. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has released data that show that the drastic surge in COVID19 cases in the state has been due to a large part of cases rising among kids and teenagers. The state data have shown that since last week in February, the average daily new COVID19 cases in children who are below 10 years have shot up by 230 percent that is more than any other age range. Experts have said that the second-highest surge in COVID19 cases has been seen in the age group of 10 to 19 years. This age group has seen around a 227 percent increase in the cases. They have claimed that the trend in these age groups has exceeded the trend of the state as a whole. The sudden surge in COVID19 cases has been seen among children across the US. In Minnesota, teenagers who are below the age of 20 years account for nearly a quarter of COVID19 cases that have been reported in March. Similar trends have been observed in other states as well such as Illinois and Massachusetts. The data from the American Academy of Pediatrics has revealed that more than 64000 COVID19 cases among children have been reported across the country from March 18 to March 25. It has been the highest weekly total in a month, said the experts.
Health experts and infectious disease experts in Michigan have said that the majority of the surge in COVID19 cases might be linked to the reopening of schools and youth sports. They have said that state data have revealed that more than 40 percent of new outbreaks have emerged from either K-12 schools or youth sports events. However, Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, who is a senior public health physician from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, has said that social gatherings after youth sports events as well have added to the surge in cases. She has said that people have not been practicing precautionary measures during social gatherings, and it has led to the COVID19 surge across the state. The state authorities have given permission to schools to begin contact sports in the month of February. However, a month later, the officials have modified the policy and made testing mandatory for every sport irrespective of whether it is a non-contact or contact sport. Experts have said that although children are at a lower risk of severe disease, some kids have been down with fatal COVID19 disease. Some children might deal with an issue that is known as a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) after recovering from the infection, said the experts. It is a rare illness that might impact the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. More than 2600 cases of MIS-C have been reported across the country until March. Nearly 33 kids have lost their lives due to the condition. Health experts fear the surge in COVID19 cases will result in an increase in the cases related to MIS-C in the future. Beaumont Health that is the largest health care system in Michigan has reported a surge in MIS-C cases this year. Experts have said that MIS-C cases might increase in the coming days.
Health experts have said that even after the end of the pandemic, restrictions should be followed religiously. They have said that it is not the time to relax restrictions. The director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky has said that lifting the restriction at this point might not be a good idea. It might result in a widespread surge in COVID19. While officials are worried about the surge in COVID19 cases among kids and its contribution to community transmission, studies on the COVID19 vaccine for children as well are in the pipeline. The Initial data from Pfizer have shown that their vaccine is completely safe for children who are in the age range of 12 to 15 years. Experts have said that it is a major sign of hope. At present, there are three COVID19 shots in the US that are authorized by the FDA. Clinical trials for vaccines for children are under process. Therefore, health experts are hopeful that inoculation for the pediatric age range might start before the fall school year. Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian has said that vaccinating children might improve the chances of achieving herd immunity. Meanwhile, adults should be fully vaccinated to prevent the further spread of the virus.
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