MSDH reports higher levels of COVID-19 in Mississippi

After weeks of low numbers of COVID-19, the Magnolia State is trending upward in positive cases.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 9:41 PM CST
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Devastating news as the Mississippi State Department of Health reports an infant death due to COVID-19.

This is the 14th COVID-19 death in a child under 18 since 2020, and infection levels are trending in parts of the state.

After weeks of low numbers of COVID-19, the Magnolia State is trending upward in positive cases.

George Loukatos, a physician with AlphaCare Urgent Care, notes that the increase in numbers is common around this time of year.

“COVID throughout the pandemic, we’d see spikes. There was really no correlation or season. One of our biggest spikes was in the middle of the summer. We still haven’t figured it out yet, we expect to see a spike during cold and flu season,” Loukatos said.

It also means people need to double down on protecting themselves.

“I think we’re in the middle of a spike. About 20% of the patients we’re seeing across all three of our clinics are testing positive for COVID, which is way more than it was a few months ago we saw in flu during October and November and pretty much no COVID during that time,” Loukatos said.

He said to limit contact with anyone who may be affected.

In a press release, the Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed the 14th COVID-19 pediatric death, an infant under one year of age.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said this latest death serves as a stark reminder of the importance of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and up to date on boosters to protect vulnerable individuals.

“It is important to stay up to date and receive the most recent bivalent booster when eligible in order to provide the best protection against infection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19,” Byers said.

“Children are more susceptible to getting viruses. Their immune systems just aren’t mature as adults,” Loukatos said. “They’re in the environment where germs are being spread, especially during daycare environments where kids are just putting everything in their mouths and passing germs.”

He urges Mississippians to stay up to date with vaccinations, boosters, and testing.

You can call your local county health department to see if COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters are available.

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