GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is reporting the highest number of cases of children with COVID-19 and MIS-C since the start of the pandemic.
According to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Wednesday marked the highest number of COVID-19 cases the hospital has seen with 22 patients. Hospitalized patients range in age from babies to 17-year-olds. 11 of those kids are in the ICU.
"One of the things that we have seen with the Omicron variant is that it is significantly more infectious and easier spread amongst people than any of the other variants or the original strain," says Dr. Hossain Marandi, President of Helen Devos Chiildren's Hospital.
The virus affects every child differently and Dr. Marandi says its on adults to keep them safe.
"I would, again, ask people to take a look at and say, what, what is the life of even one child worth? If we have the opportunity to be able to get vaccinated to wash our hands to do some of the the precautions that we can put into effect? How good would that be to be able to hopefully get past this without any child having to suffer from any kind of illness?" Marandi added.
The hospital says it has also seen more cases of MIS-C over the last few weeks than any other time during the pandemic with 4-5 cases each week.
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has admitted 478 children with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and over half of those admissions have been since August 2021.
The hospital says only 11 of the 478 had been fully vaccinated with two doses of an mRNA vaccine.
As of January 14, 117 children were hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.
Michigan has had 208 cases of MIS-C confirmed and reported to the CDC, with 147 of those cases being admitted to the ICU as of January 6.
MIS-C is a rare inflammatory disease children can get after getting COVID-19. It's the immune system's response to the virus that does more harm than help, by attacking healthy organs.
Symptoms of MIS-C include watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, sunburn-like rash, and swelling or puffiness in the hands and feet.