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Kansas City Star: KC area parents refuse COVID tests for their sick kids, doctors say

Covid Car Testing

By Lisa Gutierrez

After a relatively quiet winter at Pediatric Partners in Overland Park, the sick kids have come roaring back this spring.

They’re coughing. They have fevers. Their throats hurt. Could they have COVID-19?

Pediatrician Kristen Stuppy says she doesn’t know: many parents are refusing to have their sick children tested for the virus.

“We’ve had parents tell us, for instance, ‘No we have a big tournament this weekend, I don’t want to have to deal with COVID,’” Stuppy told The Star on Tuesday.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and teens who have COVID-19 symptoms should be tested immediately — “especially important if they have in-person in school, sports or jobs, so that anyone who may have been exposed can be alerted,” the pediatrics group says. If they have COVID-19, they need to isolate for 10 days, at least.

Public health officials have said for weeks that overall interest in COVID-19 testing is down, which is problematic because it makes it difficult to know how much of the virus remains in the community and prevent it from spreading by having people isolate.

Dr. Angela Myers at Children's Mercy said the hospital has seen a recent uptick in other viruses, including common colds and a couple of cases of respiratory viruses in the last week. She, too, is hearing that some parents are refusing COVID-19 testing.

“It is important to get tested if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 so that the appropriate actions can take place if positive,” said Myers, division director of infectious diseases.

There is no vaccine yet for children younger than 16, though Children’s Mercy is part of a national trial testing for one for younger kids.


Read the full story via The Kansas City Star

Learn more about COVID-19 testing at Children's Mercy