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Coronavirus cases rising among youth; impact seen in North Alabama schools

Last week, more than 61,000 children in the United States tested positive for coronavirus.

Posted: Nov 5, 2020 5:53 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2020 10:38 PM

A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association shows more than 61,000 children in the United States were diagnosed with coronavirus last week. That's the largest number reported since the pandemic began eight months ago.

The study says children now make up about 11% of positive coronavirus cases across the country. 

WAAY 31 spoke with the Hartselle City Schools Lead Nurse, Kelli Morton, and learned the district is seeing the number of positive cases rise again after a few weeks of it decreasing. Morton credits part of the increase to coronavirus fatigue.

“I think people maybe got comfortable because it did seem to settle down a little bit, but that was, I mean, that’s where the vulnerability happened, or can happen," said Morton.

Hartselle City Schools isn't the only district seeing cases rise in North Alabama. Huntsville City Schools, Albertville and Arab City Schools are just a few that are seeing the increase. 

Dr. Zohra Chaudhry is an infectious disease specialist with Huntsville Hospital. She said the increase of cases among youth could be from tests being easily accessible.

Morton agrees and thinks another reason could be people trying to go back to pre-coronavirus days.

“The rec leagues have gotten more up and going, including those younger kids," said Morton. "I don’t know if that has anything to do with it, but I do think there’s more activity, again it goes with that COVID fatigue and kind of loosening things up a bit."

Symptoms of the common cold and stomach flu are common symptoms of coronavirus in youth. If you're questioning yours or your child's health, Morton urges you to get tested.

“Over and over, we’ll hear, ‘oh, I thought it was just a sinus infection,’ or ‘it’s just allergies.’ I don’t think we can get away with that anymore. I think that you have to assume that it could be more until a doctor tells you otherwise.”

Dr. Chaudhry said we could see even more of an increase of coronavirus in children in the coming months.

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