Wiregrass COVID-19 cases and hospitalization in children continue downward trend

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — At the beginning of the pandemic, the original COVID-19 strain took a toll primarily on the older population, but the Delta variant changed that trend impacting younger people at numbers never seen before.

As reported in recent days, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have continued to trend downward, in fact, these cases in children which if you remember saw a dramatic spike this past summer seem to have dropped, significantly.

According to Dr. Robert Benak a Pediatrician at Dothan Pediatric Clinic, medical experts are seeing a big decrease or what he would call a trough but doctors want the Wiregrass community to know this drop in cases might not be here to stay. They expect there will be more drops in cases ahead but also more spikes over the fall and winter season.

“During periods of troughs but during periods where we see the peaks and the illness come back we have to put the masks back on we have to be social distancing,” Dr. Benak said.

Data from ADPH shows 1,911 cases of COVID were reported in children just last week. This is down from the 2,487 COVID-19 cases that were reported the week before.

Dothan City Schools reported a total of 11 COVID cases and Houston County School District just 7 COVID cases, which all points in the right direction.

“I was seeing 10 to 15 patients a day that was positive with COVID,” Dr. Benak said. “Last week, I had one patient with COVID. “The difference is just incredible with me how it has changed.”

According to the Alabama Hospital Association, across the state, a total of 15 children are currently fighting COVID-19 in the hospital, two in the ICU, and one child being treated on a ventilator but every step forward could be a step back, if, not enough precaution is taken.

“Children are affected by it, there are deaths in children and young adults,” Dr. Benak said. “Us getting a COVID vaccine helps protects everyone.”

Medical experts recommend parents send their kids to school in masks. They say by practicing this simple safety protocol, it will not only protect them from COVID-19 but also from getting the flu.

And of course, if you are eligible, they recommend you just get the vaccine.

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