Tri-State pediatricians overwhelmed as Omicron surge hits kids

Tests coming back over 30 percent positive
Child getting vaccinated at pediatrician in Northern Kentucky
Posted at 8:41 AM, Jan 18, 2022

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — As COVID-19 cases surpass record numbers, parents and pediatricians are more concerned than ever about how the the virus is impacting children.

Tri-State pediatricians are overwhelmed with appointments to vaccinate children while also caring for kids who have caught the virus.

Dr. Charlie Cavallo, a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates of Northern Kentucky, said this is the busiest he's ever been in his 18 years with the practice. Cavallo said the practice operates three local offices and all are backed up with appointments.

"This is the most COVID we've seen during the entire pandemic right now," Cavallo said.

In December, Cavallo said he was primarily treating kids for flu, RSV and stomach viruses. Now, the vast majority of patients have COVID-19. He said they usually field an average of 1,000 calls a week from parents needing advice on a sick child. During the recent COVID-19 surge they're receiving about 1,700 calls a week. He said questions can range to vaccines, quarantine guidelines, exposure questions and about children who need tested.

"About 30% of our tests are coming back positive, where previously it might have been 5% or 10%, so it's really a big uptick right now," Cavallo said.

He said his biggest concern during the surge has been the number of children he's seen running fevers for up to a week.

Cavallo said his recommending parents encourage their kids to wear a mask in school, whether the district requires it or not, keep their kids home if they're sick and get them vaccinated if they're eligible. He said his offices host weekend clinics to meet the demand for vaccines and boosters and are vaccinating up to 100 kids each day.

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