Study shows SD children hospitalized with COVID-19 increased 1,248% in 6 months


While South Dakota’s oldest residents are at the highest risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19, many children have also found themselves in hospital beds. In fact, a new national report says South Dakota has had a higher rate of children hospitalized with the virus than many other states. In this edition of COVID-19 Beyond the Numbers, we’re taking a look at the study, one of the cases and where the numbers are today.

In December, we introduced you to two and a half-year-old Henry Fruechte. He was one of the first children with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome treated at Avera McKennan Hospital.

“This is a completely new syndrome. We are still learning about it,” Avera Pediatric Intensivist Dr. Kingshuck Dasgrupta said on December 8th.

To date, Sanford Health tells us they have now seen 13 cases of MIS-C. In December, Avera had at least six cases of the syndrome that made Henry so sick.

But as of today, the CDC website says the state has reported ten or fewer cases.

Now, a new report from the Journal of the American Medical Association says South Dakota has one of the highest rates of children being hospitalized with COVID-19.

Researchers looked at 22 states from mid-May to mid-November. Researchers factored in state populations to figure out the hospitalization rate.

When the study wrapped up, South Dakota had the highest rate with about 34 children per 100,000 hospitalized with COVID-19 – which was nearly twice the national rate.

Photo courtesy: Journal of the American Medical Association

When the study ended in November, 81 South Dakota children had been hospitalized.
We checked the state website today. A total of 146 children have been hospitalized with the virus since the pandemic began. At last report just four children with active cases remain hospitalized in the state.

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