Pediatrician suggests summer camps could be driving spike in child COVID-19 cases

More children are testing positive for the virus, a Central Florida pediatrician observes, and she believes the reason could be summer camps. 

"They’re getting it, putting the kids back together, they’re showing up positive," explained Dr. Annette Nielson. 

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring, she noticed her business slowing down.

"My standard sick visits -- runny nose, coughs, strep throat -- that’s dropped. That’s plummeted," she said. "Summer camp started and we’ve got kids at soccer camp, we’ve got kids at community camps. They’re getting it."

And they're passing COVID-19 around Dr. Nielson said.

"We’ve been testing now in my office for the past five days.  Out of that percentage of children, we have a third of those kids are positive. Several are coming from the St. Cloud camps, local Lake Nona camps, downtown camps. It’s everywhere."

Dr. Nielson said while many of her patients have been presenting mild COVID-19 symptoms, some are more severe.

"Some,  just have vomiting and diarrhea or a fever runny nose and a cough," she explained but added, "We’ve seen a 15-year-old who had a stroke, previously healthy, asymptomatic kid, worst headache of her life."

It turned out to be coronavirus. Dr. Nielson said the straight-A student and cheerleader still can’t walk or talk. 
While it’s unclear where that teen was exposed to COVID-19, Dr. Nielson believes what she saw when summer camps started opening is a predictor of what we’ll see when schools open.

"I don’t think the kids should be the pawn in this game," she said.