EL PASO, Texas -- An El Paso pediatric physician said Covid-19 pediatric hospitalizations are not surging compared to other major cities across the state, and the country, crediting the area's high vaccination rate.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, out of the more than 13,000 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, 278 are kids.
Out of the entire El Paso Trauma Service Region, which also includes Hudspeth and Culberson counties, only 1 child is in the hospital with Covid-19.
"Part of this clearly was fueled by children beginning to go back to school," said Dr. Glenn Fennelly, chair of pediatrics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center of El Paso and chief transformation officer at El Paso Children's Hospital.
New data from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that one in four new Covid-19 cases are diagnosed in children and across the country, some states were reporting that kids made any where between 1.6 to 4 percent of their total hospitalizations.
Dr. Fennelly said generally, children with Covid-19 only show minor symptoms but those who are hospitalized typically have a difficulty breathing.
In some cases, these children may need assisted ventilation and are sometimes treated with remdesivir or dexamethasone to avoid more serious outcomes.
Children who are older and immunocompromised also have a higher chance of getting sicker.
"We can predict certain children that may get sick, or these are children that are overweight, that have a so called body mass index of 30 or more, may be at risk for diabetes."
During a city council meeting Monday, City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said Covid-19 cases are on the decline, especially in school-aged children.
Gonzalez also credited the vaccination rate, noting an increase in vaccination in those ages 12 to 15 –noting 69% in that age group are fully vaccinated.