Orange County Children’s Hospital Has Treated Hundreds of Patients for COVID

January 26, 2021 Updated: January 29, 2021

Nearly 400 patients have required hospitalization at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) for COVID-19 since last March, The Epoch Times has learned.

In all, CHOC has seen 4,071 positive COVID-19 virus cases since the pandemic began, including 61 patients who required intensive care unit (ICU) treatment. There have been 35 confirmed cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) in children and young adults at CHOC, a hospital spokesperson told The Epoch Times.

Meantime, Los Angeles County said Jan. 23 that it has seen an increase in children with MIS. Since the start of the pandemic, it has reported cases in 62 children, including one death. All were hospitalized, and 45 percent were treated in an ICU. Of the children suffering from the syndrome, 31 percent were below the age of 5, and 37 percent were between the ages of 5 and 11. Another 32 percent of MIS patients were between the ages of 12 and 20 years old.

The inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 includes systems such a fever that doesn’t go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and organs.

Dr. Jaime Deville, an infectious disease pediatrician at CHOC, said the number of children infected with COVID-19 has risen alongside a recent surge in overall cases.

“In the past few weeks … we have seen a number of children unlike we’ve seen before, with many more hospitalizations,” Deville told The Epoch Times.

Deville said the majority of hospitalized pediatric patients are adolescents, however, there have also been patients as young as infants contracting the virus and requiring hospitalized intervention.

Children who get COVID experience similar symptoms to adults—including a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and a decrease in taste and smell—Deville said, adding that their symptoms tend to be milder.

“Children tend to improve faster than adults,” he said. “The older the population, the more similar are the symptoms to adults.”

Research shows that children who have comorbidities—such as chronic lung disease, severe asthma, obesity, neurological deficits, or a compromised immune system—are more susceptible to experiencing severe symptoms.

“Even though COVID is less severe in children, it still causes a significant number of cases in the pediatric population,” Deville says, adding that a few children have required a ventilator. “Children with COVID that have needed intubation; their recovery has been faster than adults.”

A number of babies at the hospital have been born to COVID-positive mothers, including some who were on ventilators during the delivery, he said. However, there have not been any confirmed cases of transmission from mother to child.

He recommends that parents—especially those who have children with comorbidities—continue adhering to social distancing, mask wearing, and frequent hand washing.

“[First] parents need to be very vigilant about COVID. And even though the number of cases, might … decline in the coming weeks and months, we are not out of the pandemic,” he said. “Second, the importance of reopening schools—which should really be a priority as schools have not been shown to be [where] COVID spreads. It’s been shown in multiple studies. If schools can be opened safely using all the protocols that have been developed, that should be pursued.”