Valley Children’s Hospital Debunks “False Narrative” About Kids & COVID-19


FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – The CEO of Valley Children’s hospital in Madera says there’s a false narrative going around about children and Coronavirus.

CEO Todd Suntrapak wants to debunk the narrative that children are not prone to getting sick or worse. They have seen children as young as three weeks old get sick from Coronavirus.

The President of Valley Children’s Hospital held a Zoom meeting on Thursday, with some of the hospital’s doctors, to stress that cases are rising and some children can get very sick.

Suntrapak said while COVID-19 may affect children in a different way than adults. they are still susceptible to getting the potentially fatal virus and passing it around.

In California, 8.7% of the positive COVID-19 cases – more than 413,000, statewide, have been in children younger than 18 years old, and in the Valley the number rises to 12%.

Valley Children’s has conducted nearly 6,500 COVID-19 tests; 8% have come back positive, while 69 children required hospitalization.

VCH doctors say children can also suffer complications from the virus, including Multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS).

Valley Children’s has seen eight cases of MIS, which doctors believe is an  inflammatory response in the body to the COVID-19 infection.

MIS can show up a week after the infection, and affect “different systems, different organs in the body,” said Dr. Nael Mhaissen, Medical Director, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, speaking during Thursday’s Zoom meeting.

“Many times it can be serious enough to require admission to the ICU,” said Dr. Mhaissen,

There has been some success using Remdesivir as treatment for COVID-19, but doses are running out – the hospital only has enough medication to treat five more patients.

Watch the full Zoom meeting with CEO Todd Suntrapak below for more details:

ICYMI: Valley Children's President & CEO Todd Suntrapak held a media briefing to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and its…

Posted by Valley Children's on Thursday, July 23, 2020

Listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern as it aired: