The number of COVID-19 cases on Long Island has remained relatively unchanged in recent months, except in children.
“In last week’s profile, 30% of all of our positive cases were in children under the age of 18,” said Lawrence Einstein, Nassau County Health Commissioner.
Children test disproportionately positive for a multitude of reasons, including extensive testing in New York City.
Pediatricians say cases in children are on the rise because they are spending more time together on the playgrounds and back to school.
Einstein says the majority of children who receive COVID-19 will be fine. However, pediatricians urge parents to remain vigilant.
“With the increase in pediatric cases, we are concerned about something called MIS-C, which is a multi-inflammatory syndrome in children,” says Dr. Sara Siddiqui, pediatrician at NYU Langone Huntington Medical Group.
Siddiqui says MIS-C is very rare and she doesn’t want to scare people away, but says it’s something parents should be aware of.
“Parents should be careful after a possible diagnosis of COVID 3-4 weeks later, high fever, symptoms of vomiting, headache, diarrhea, pain or swelling,” Siddiqui said.
Einstein says getting emergency use clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for a vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 would be a step in the right direction.
“It is possible that before Christmas week and New Years everyone can be vaccinated from the age of 5, and that will definitely help us get through the winter season,” he said.
The FDA advisory group is expected to meet in late October.