KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK/WFXR) — President Donald Trump is still being criticized for his comments on both Facebook and Twitter about children and COVID-19. Both companies immediately took the comments down, with Facebook calling it “harmful misinformation.”
In light of the president’s comments, WFXR’s sister station decided to take a look at the numbers in the Tri-State.
Unfortunately, children are not immune to COVID-19. The region has had several deaths, and the numbers of infected children in the Tri-State might surprise you.
“If you look at children, I mean they’re able to throw it off very easily – they may get it but it doesn’t have much of an impact on them,” Trump addressed to the nation.
He stood by his comments, adding “if you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say, definitely, but almost immune from this disease.”
However, the numbers in the Tri-State as of Thursday, Aug. 6 do not match the president’s remarks:
- In West Virginia, 1,000 children under 18 have tested positive for COVID-19.
- In Ohio, 8,572 kids have tested positive, and two have now died.
- In Kentucky, 3,900 children have tested positive for the virus — including an 18-day old baby — and one of them died.
Meanwhile, in other adjacent states:
- Pennsylvania has found 8,379 positive cases among children.
- Maryland has 9,077 kids who tested positive, and one of those children died.
“My medical opinion is kids are susceptible to it,” remarked Dr. Sherri Young with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. “In the United States, there are children that have died from COVID. So we know we can’t take this lightly.”
Young says children CAN, in fact, get the virus:
“People may have that misinformation that you can’t get COVID-19 if you’re a kid. And that is absolutely untrue. We’ve had 1,000 cases here in West Virginia, with minors under the age of 18 who’ve contracted COVID, and so we’ve had everything in Kanawha County too — even some several weeks old.”
Young says children also have a higher ‘viral load’ than adults, so actually: “That makes them potentially super-spreaders. They could pass more disease on even than an adult.”
And a big concern about ‘COVID among kids:’ the fact that COVID-19 can turn into something far worse.
“It’s devastating, it can actually be fatal to children,” replied Young.
It’s called ‘Kawasaki Disease’. It’s an illness that causes inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body, and it’s most common among infants and children. Young says the country has already seen cases where the virus has turned into Kawasaki Disease.
“It’s just inevitable as we see more expansion across the united states, we will see more Kawasaki Disease and other complications as well.”
And if it dosen’t turn into Kawasaki: “We really don’t know what the effects of having COVID early in life — or even later in life — how that will affect you later on.”
So far, across the country, more than 250,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19. Re-opening schools is clearly a concern because of these health risks.
Gov. Jim Justice says he’s sticking with a Sept. 8 start date, but is willing to push it back if necessary.
For more details on the governor’s reopening plan, click here.
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