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Arkansas pediatrician expects more COVID-19 deaths and cases in children



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — As the nation focuses on safety issues around going back to school during this pandemic, more cases of children dying from the virus are being reported.

Rainbow Pediatric Clinic Dr. Marti Sharkey said to date, there have been around 100 deaths from COVID-19 in kids 18 and younger in the United States.

“Right now we’re kind of at a typical flu year as far as the number of deaths from COVID-19 in children,” she said. “What the rest of the year will hold? I don’t know. Will we see more pediatric deaths? Unfortunately, that answer is yes.”

Will they be in Arkansas? I hope not.

She said for the past five months, kids have pretty much been at home, which raises the question: Were cases low because the kids were at home and we didn’t think they were getting it as much?

She said that seems to be what data is indicating from other parts of the world, where kids have been back in school.

We know that this virus tends to transmit more easily indoors, and now we have groups of them indoors.

“Time is going to tell with this one,” she said. “I kind of feel like we are getting on a roller coaster when we haven’t had the chance to look at it before we get in.”

We’re strapping on our belts, we’re putting on our safety gear, and we’re hoping for the best. 

Dr. Sharkey said it’s more important than ever to stay home when you can and keep wearing your masks.

“We know we are going to continue to see these numbers rise,” she said. “We also know mask work, so we all have to continue to do our part.”