Cases of COVID-19 in children and adolescents had an outstanding increase by early 2022

Since the beginning of the pandemic, this was the time with the greatest impact of the disease on the child-youth population; the increase in numbers reinforces the urgency of vaccination

The number of children and adolescents with confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital has increased a lot at the beginning of the year. From January 1st to February 15th, there were 952 positive diagnoses. The total is equivalent to 73% of the cases registered throughout the year 2021, when 1,295 positive occurrences were accounted for.

Hospitalizations have also grown. In just 45 days this year, 117 children and adolescents needed to be hospitalized, which represents 48% of all records for the entire previous year. And 19 children required ICU. Since the beginning of the pandemic, this has been the moment with the greatest impact of COVID-19 on the child and adolescent public. 

The assistant technical director of the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital and infectious disease specialist Victor Horácio de Souza Costa Junior explains that some factors contributed to this surge in cases. Because of the holidays, families got together and relaxed with regard to care, such as social distancing, the use of masks, and constant hand hygiene. In addition, the omicron variant, which is much more transmissible, made contamination easier. “Since children were not yet vaccinated, they were the most vulnerable part of the population. These three factors combined caused this significant increase in cases. More than ever, it is necessary to vaccinate children to protect them,” reinforces the doctor.

Brazilian scenario*
Data from the Ministry of Health reveal that this increase was registered all over Brazil. In January, hospitalizations in the country jumped from 697 in 2021 to 2,122 this year, in the age group between 0 and 19 years old. The number of deaths almost doubled, from 49 to 86.

The epidemiological bulletins of the Ministry of Health show that in January 2021, there were 217 hospitalizations of children under 1 year old; 198 of the public between 1 and 5 years old; and 282 between 6 and 19 years old, reaching 697 in total.

In January 2022, these numbers jumped to 718 hospitalizations of infants under 1 year old; to 627 of children between 1 and 5 years old; and 777 in the 6 to 19 years old age group.

In the case of deaths, between January 2021 and the same period this year, the number rose from 18 to 21 among infants under 1 year old; from 7 to 20 in children between 1 and 5 years old; and from 24 to 45 among children and adolescents between 6 and 19 years old.

*Data from CNN Brazil

Click below to check Pequeno Príncipe’s alert on COVID-19 in children.


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