7 Mississippi children in ICU, 2 on life support, as state grapples with COVID-19 delta variant

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi health officials are sounding the alarm over the COVID-19 delta variant after seven children have been hospitalized in intensive care units, including two placed on life support.

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State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs confirmed the pediatric hospitalizations, noting the majority of Mississippi’s current COVID-19 cases stem from the highly-contagious delta variant, WHBQ reported.

In a tweet, Dobbs also corrected a previous report from the state health department that incorrectly stated 12 children were in the ICU and 10 were on life support.

Dr. Alan Jones, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, told WAPT that the hospital is treating four pediatric COVID-19 patients, two of whom are on ventilators.

“We have had more pediatric admissions than we had early in the pandemic,” Jones told the TV station, noting the facility is bracing for a new surge in patients.

“What we are doing to get ready for it is operationalizing the plan that we have fine-tuned over the recent months to make sure we are ready for the large increases in hospitalizations,” Jones said.

According to the Mississippi State Health Department, the 7 ill children are among the 219 new COVID-19 infections reported Tuesday. The state has also confirmed 10 recent COVID-related deaths and 34 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities, WHBQ reported.

To date, Mississippi has reported 325,072 cumulative COVID-19 infections, resulting in 7,451 deaths. Nearly 1.1 million residents have been fully vaccinated, the TV station reported.

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