Coronavirus is once again sickening children at a rapid pace across North Texas.
More than 200 children tested positive for COVID-19 at Children's Health in the week of Christmas, the highest weekly total in months, according to the network's systemwide data.
Children's Health in Plano and Dallas had 24 hospitalized kids with COVID-19 as of Monday.
Cook Children's in Fort Worth says it's treating 29 children for COVID. Last week, that number was eight.
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“With this, our percent positivity rate went three, nine, 12, 20 in about four or five days, and our inpatient population tripled in one week," said Cook's Medical Director of infectious diseases Dr. Mary Suzanne Whitworth.
The omicron variant isn't thought to cause more severe disease than the delta variant, but it is spreading faster.
At Mark 9 Pediatrics in Coppell, about 60-70% of children who show symptoms of upper respiratory infections test positive for COVID-19.
"This virus, this SARS-CoV-2 virus, is a serious virus and it can cause serious disease, whether in many kids or in just a few kids. For that parent whose child is the one child that develops serious disease, it is a very serious illness," said pediatrician Dr. Angela Moemeka.
She said while most cases will be mild, she advises against giving your child cold or flu medication if he or she is under the age of 4 years old.
Many infants, she said, are testing positive.
For them and any child, it's best to isolate them and let any holiday guests know you have a child with a covid infection.
Most importantly, watch carefully for complications, said Moemeka.
"Watch for the work of breathing of your child, so how fast and hard they're breathing, the rate of breathing, so just the speed of how much they're breathing, and also how long they've had a fever. If they're having prolonged fevers, three, four days and they're still looking ill to you, you really need to have them either go back to see their pediatrician or be seen by an urgent care. And if they're truly serious be seen in the emergency room."
Health experts continue to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated, saying the vast majority of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.
In the last 14 days, kids 5 to 11 made up 20 percent of those getting their first dose, leading to a rush at places like Campbell Pharmacy in Dallas.
"I think people are actually starting to listen again and say wait a minute, this is right where we were a year ago. People are afraid. I mean, you've got school districts offering money for kids to get vaccinated. What does that tell you?" said clinical pharmacist Dawn Moshier.
According to the CDC, only 14 percent of kids 17 and under have received both doses nationwide.