Percentage of kids in Ohio testing positive for coronavirus increases, more tests are not the sole reason

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — During Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing, infectious disease specialist Dr. Amy Edwards said there is an increase in the number of kids testing positive for COVID-19 during the last few weeks.

“Initially, some of that could be laid down to an increase in testing . . . Of course we captured more kids because we were testing more kids,” Dr. Edwards said. “What we’ve really been seeing recently is an increase in the percent of tests that are coming back positive, particularly in symptomatic children.”

She said for kids who have symptoms of a respiratory viral disease, a larger percentage of them are testing positive for coronavirus than what was occurring earlier in the pandemic.

“It’s to be expected as the state opens that we’re going to start seeing more positive kids, but that rate has been going up and it’s something we’re keeping our eye on,” Dr. Edwards said.

Dr. Edwards said the percentage of positive tests hasn’t gone up dramatically, about five to six percent, but she and doctors across the state are concerned because it’s been a steady increase and it hasn’t stopped in a few weeks.

“We have seen a slight uptick in hospital admissions for COVID-19 in children,” she said.

Dr. Edwards said parents should know kids have similar symptoms as adults do for the coronavirus so parents should look for a cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and fever.

“If your child seems to have a little bit more trouble breathing than they normally do, if they’re having trouble with their appetite, they’re not eating and drinking as much as they should, then you might want to talk to pediatrician about it,” she said.

Dr. Edwards also pointed out most kids will be fine because they are not as affected as other populations.

“The vast majority of children are going to do great,” Dr. Edwards said. “They’re either going to be asymptomatic or what we call pose-symptomatic disease, which is very minimal symptoms, which is typical for kids with respiratory viruses.”

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