Coronavirus Chronicles — COVID-19 and Kids, Yes, It Happens 

Girl wearing mask

Hot off the presses: The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) sent out an announcement to every official, functionary, bureaucrat, clinician, and news outlet in the state. There was recently a sharp upward trend in COVID-related pediatric hospitalizations. In other words, kids get it worse now than ever. The focus is December 5, 2021, through December 19, the week when the number of New York City children hospitalized by the virus multiplied by four. It gets worse:

  • Approximately half of the admissions are less than five years of age and thus vaccine ineligible.
  • For the most recent week… none of the 5-11-year-old patients was fully vaccinated (compared to 16.1% overall in that age group).

Here is what NYSDOH wants authority figures to do:

​Counsel parents that although COVID-19 is usually mild in children, there are risks of serious illness and sequelae for children, and if not isolated they can contribute to community transmission.

Unbelievably, despite the ever-mounting evidence, there are still people who will declare that children don’t catch it, or don’t develop serious cases. But they do, and they also get long-haul COVID and/or the mysteriously similar multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.​

An update on MIS-C

Meanwhile, discussion of MIS-C continues. Is it or is it not the same as “long COVID” in pediatric format? In 2020 Dr. Bo Stapler wrote, “MIS-C is thought to be an abnormal immune response to the novel coronavirus that often occurs after the acute infection has passed.” To some minds, it might as well be considered just a different phase of COVID. A MIS-C diagnosis…

[…] broadly includes fever, a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 or a clear exposure, elevated markers of inflammation, and evidence that multiple organ systems are affected (for example, two or more of the following symptoms: rash, swelling of the hands or feet, red eyes, blood clots, swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, seizure, or stroke).

It is taking a while for word to circulate that children can get sick and stay sick. The numbers are low enough for skeptical adults to treat the matter cavalierly, but the numbers are likely to grow. Natasha Hinde recounted the experiences of several children and their families for HuffPo:

An informal survey of parents in the group found children affected were most commonly experiencing fatigue, sore throat, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, muscle pain, and weakness months after first becoming sick…​

Young Thomas, for instance, when interviewed, had suffered for a year, with constantly swollen glands, mysterious high fevers, and pain everywhere. The writer called him “a 6-year-old in a 90-year-old’s body” and he holds the unenviable honor of being the first child diagnosed with long COVID by the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. ​

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “The Latest on the Mysterious Inflammatory Syndrome in Children,”
Source: ‘”‘A 6-Year-Old In A 90-Year-Old’s Body’ – The Children Devastated By Long Covid,” HuffPost
Source: “HEALTH ADVISORY: Increase in COVID-19 Pediatric Hospitalizations,”
Images by Nik Anderson/CC BY-ND 2.0

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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