Vast majority of Arizona kids have had COVID-19, according to CDC

Aug 31, 2022, 4:45 AM
(Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)...
(Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
(Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

PHOENIX — The vast majority of Arizona children have been infected with COVID-19, according to a recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey shows about 84% of Arizona kids between 6 months and 17 years old have tested positive for the virus. That’s slightly higher than the national average of nearly 80%.

“Obviously it does sound like it’s a high percentage of patients who’ve had the infection,” said Dr. Wassim Ballan, an infectious disease specialist for Phoenix Children’s. “At the same time, it’s not fully surprising.”

Ballan pointed out the omicron variant led to a huge number of kids testing positive earlier this year.

“Keep in mind also that a lot of children actually have a mild infection from COVID-19, and they might have had the infection without even getting tested to confirm that’s what they had,” he added.

Most kids with COVID-19 who are symptomatic generally show cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, and sore throat. Some also require hospitalized.

Ballan said he has seen young COVID-19 patients be admitted to the hospital with upper airway issues. That includes croup, which causes swelling and inflammation of the upper part of a child’s airways and can lead to difficulty breathing and a barking-like cough.

The CDC survey comes as the latest subvariant of omicron, known as BA.5, is now the dominant strain of the coronavirus in Arizona and across the country. It also spread more easily than previous variants.

Ballan said he’s concerned the recent return to school will lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases among children. He said that’s one of the reasons why he encourages parents to get their kids vaccinates against the virus.

Children as young as 6 months old are eligible for vaccination.

The most recent data by the Arizona Department of Health Services shows nearly 56% of children in the state ages 12-15 have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Among children 5 to 11 years old, nearly 34% have gotten at least one dose.

About 19,800 children 6 months through 4 years old have also received at least one dose. However, it’s difficult to know what share of that age group has gotten vaccinated since the state health department’s population denominators don’t have estimates for children ages 6 months to 1 year.

Ballan noted children who’ve had COVID-19 develop natural immunity against the virus. But he still encourages parents to get them vaccinated.

“Having the infection one time doesn’t protect indefinitely against future infections,” he said. “We also cannot predict the course the patient is going to have with their second infection.”

Ballan said he also wants parents who haven’t had their kids vaccinated to consider how getting infected with COVID-19 “is going to affect their life and the life of the people that they live with at home in terms of missing school or having to miss work to stay with a sick child.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
Griselda Zetino

Latino buying power in Arizona is exceeding expectations

The Latino buying power in Arizona was projected to reach $57 billion this year, but that has already been exceeded.
5 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Arizona man gets 18 months in prison for stealing $1.36M in social security benefits

An Arizona man was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for stealing more than $1.36 million in social security benefits over 20 years.
5 hours ago
Director, NFL Environmental Program Jack Groh, associate director, NFL Environmental Program Susan ...
Jordan Leandre

NFL Green wants Super Bowl to benefit Arizona community, environment

With an event as momentous as the Super Bowl, there will be lots of traffic coming to the greater Phoenix area from all over the world.
5 hours ago
(Salt River Project Education Grants Photo)...

Salt River Project offers grants of up to $5,000 for Arizona schools

Teachers across Arizona can now apply for funding to enhance learning in the classroom through a Salt River Project educational program.
5 hours ago
(ADOT Photo)...

Southbound Interstate 17 closes after Monday’s storms in Phoenix

Interstate 17 in Phoenix closed Monday night in both directions for storm-related reasons, traffic officials said. 
1 day ago
FILE - Protesters gather outside the Capitol to voice their dissent with an abortion ruling, Friday...
Associated Press

Arizona clinic has workaround for abortion pill ban

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix abortion clinic has come up with a way for patients who can end their pregnancy using a pill to get the medication quickly without running afoul of a resurrected Arizona law that bans most abortions. Under the arrangement that began Monday, patients will have an ultrasound in Arizona, get a […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Vast majority of Arizona kids have had COVID-19, according to CDC