Coronavirus cases among children rise in North Carolina

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Coronavirus cases among children are on the rise in North Carolina as 13,084 individuals under the age of 17 have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state, according to data from Wednesday.

According to state data, 11 percent of the overall cases in North Carolina are children. That’s an increase from the six percent of overall cases that were children back in late May.

Dr. Charlene Wong, a pediatrician and health services researcher at Duke University, said there is still a lot to learn when it comes to finding out the effect COVID-19 has on children.

“The risk is certainly not zero of getting coronavirus,” Wong said.

Wong said some studies have shown that children over the age of 10 are more at risk of catching the coronavirus than younger children.

“Some theories that are being discussed are that younger children are lower to the ground, so when they are breathing and expelling particles, they are less likely to infect adults who tend to be at a higher level than they are,” Wong said.

Wong said that parents should make sure that their children wear masks, frequently wash their hands, and physical distance whenever possible.

Christine Myers, who lives in Hillsborough, said her 1 year-old grandson, Warren, recently contracted the virus.

“You just kind of get hopeless, you get that positive diagnosis and you know there’s no treatment and from there you just feel helpless and you pray very, very hard,” Myers said.

Myers’ daughter, Colleen Smyth, said Warren came down with a fever of 105 last week, his appetite changed and he appeared more tired than normal.

“He’s normally the happiest baby in the world,” Smyth said. “Once we started adding up all the symptoms, we were like ‘this isn’t right.'”

Smyth said he tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday and she said she is not sure how he contracted it. She said she only took him out of the house once in recent months.

“It’s just gut wrenching to know that it took that one trip out of the house and that one contact with someone who does not live with us,” Smyth said.

While Warren’s family said he is doing better, they are asking everyone to take the virus seriously.

“All anyone can do is protect themselves and each other,” Myers said. “I think we owe that to each other to protect each other. Right now the only thing we know is that washing your hands, wearing a mask and social distancing are the only weapons we have. So use them.”

For more information on how to protect your children from COVID-19 go here.

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