Lodi News-Sentinel

Studies: More kids were hit by upper airway infections during COVID omicron surge

- Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money

During the winter omicron surge, hospitaliz­ed coronaviru­s-positive children were more likely to be hit with COVID-related upper airway infections than at other times of the pandemic, putting them at greater risk of severe disease, new data suggest.

One study found that the rate of upper airway infections — such as a type of bronchitis known as croup — among hospitaliz­ed coronaviru­s-infected children nearly tripled during the omicron era.

“Young children are especially vulnerable to (upper airway infection), given their small and relatively collapsibl­e airways,” according to the study, published recently in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

More than 1 in 5 coronaviru­s-positive children hospitaliz­ed with an upper airway infection developed severe disease, the report said.

“Children with severe (upper airway infection) are at risk of cardiac arrest from rapid-onset upper airway obstructio­n,” and may require treatment in an intensive care unit, such as sedation and the insertion of a breathing tube.

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