Local health experts warn of delta variant dangers for children

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 9:05 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Yet another school district transitioning to virtual learning. McCormick County students are starting learn from home Tuesday until at least the end of the week. And the Department of Education says they’ll investigate whether five states banning mask mandates are violating student rights including South Carolina.

We’re breaking down why this surge of COVID is more concerning for kids than other waves.

Our investigative journalist Meredith Anderson posted on Facebook asking if your child had COVID what and how severe were the symptoms.

We got about 60 responses and they range pretty widely from nothing, to mild symptoms like head aches and stuffy noses, to more severe symptoms like high fevers, body aches, and vomiting. Something else interesting about the comments, the ages of children range from three months to 18 years old.

Local health officials say the delta variant is very serious especially in young unvaccinated children.

Alicia Harmon has three sons all under the age of 14 with COVID. She did not think her kids would test positive and now that she knows the risks, she wishes she did things differently.

“Now I feel like if the elementary school got it I feel like it’s my fault because I sent my kid to school who had COVID but he wasn’t there showing any signs,” she said.

Her children have mild symptoms.

“I just thought he might have the stomach virus, flu, RSV and everything else going around cause it’s not just the COVID going around, so I wasn’t thinking automatically he’d have COVID,” she said.

But they all do have COVID so she asks you watch your kids anything could change from sleeping patterns to their appetite.

“Take them to the doctor to get tested don’t play it’s not a joking matter right now it’s basically a life death situation,” she said.

Although most children experience mild symptoms, CHOG has seven pediatric patients right now.

“...We’ve had 16-year-olds life-flighted in on 100 percent oxygen support ventilated but they’re sick. We’ve had 4-year-olds come in really critically ill requiring intubation requiring being on ventilator support,” said Dr. Rodger MacArthur, Professor of Medicine Infectious Diseases Medical College of GA AU.

The doctors and nurses are doing a good job at saving them but there are real long term consequences.

“Lung scarring, lung fibrosis, heart conditions, increased risks of blood clots COVID is not something anyone should want to get it’s not simply a bad cold,” he said.

And there’s still more to learn about those long term effects. But for now our health officials know that wearing a mask helps stop the spread, and if you know you’ve been exposed or if you aren’t feeling well to get tested.

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