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Las Vegas pediatrician reflects on increase in COVID-19 cases among children

Posted at 7:03 PM, Sep 07, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Positive COVID-19 cases in Southern Nevada may be going down, but doctors say they are seeing an alarming increase of cases among children.

Doctors say the symptoms are mild to moderate, but there could be serious life consequences down the road.

Dr. Atousa Ghaneian, a Las Vegas pediatrician, says the big concern now is in children.

“We are seeing nationwide a higher number of cases of children getting the same respiratory symptoms as adults requiring them to be on a ventilator for respiratory support,” said Dr. Ghaneian.

She says while children may have less severe symptoms, being on a ventilator at a young age could lead to long-term complications and potentially cause lung damage. Dr. Ghaneian says families need to do their part to avoid getting infected.

“Try to minimize indoor activities especially with large groups and especially if you don’t know the status of the other individuals involved, that would really help,” Dr. Ghaneian said.

According to Southern Nevada Health District’s website, since the beginning of August, we have seen more than 3,000 positive COVID-19 cases among 5 to 16-year-olds in Clark County. This demographic makes up nearly 11% of the Las Vegas area’s cases.

“The older children are getting complications such as myocarditis and they are getting inflammation around the heart as well,” Dr. Ghaneian said. “It’s really important to prevent our kids from getting the virus to begin with.”

She says parents with children 12 years and older need to take action if they haven’t already.

“Unless there is a reason for a child to not to get vaccinated, a medical condition or certain reason not to, I would absolutely encourage parents to get them vaccinated,” said Dr. Ghaneian.

As people continue to let their guard down, the doctor says we can continue to see cases go up among our children.

She says the most effective way to prevent your child from getting infected is to have every eligible family member within your household vaccinated. If they can’t get vaccinated, the doctor recommends following basic hygiene practices and screen your child before they leave the house and once they return.