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In the Media

Anita S. Henderson, MD, FAAP, expresses her concerns about the rise in pediatric Covid-19 cases and mask-optional school districts

Anita S. Henderson, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at Hattiesburg Clinic The Pediatric Clinic and president of the Mississippi Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), spoke to multiple media outlets about the concerning rise in Covid-19 cases among children and adolescents.

Dr. Henderson and other pediatricians are noticing a worrisome trend as more children are being impacted by the Delta variant. In Mississippi, the hospitalization rates among adolescents are higher than at any point during the pandemic.

In an interview with CBS News’ Mark Strassmann, Henderson discussed the surge of coronavirus cases in children over the last month. She described Covid’s impact on kids as a “freight train.”

“And what I mean by a freight train is our clinics are overrun,” Henderson said.

“And what would you say to people who say, ‘They’re young, they’ll be fine?’” Strassmann asked.

“We’re seeing in our pediatric population kids who can’t play the flute anymore, kids who can’t participate in sports anymore,” Henderson said. “And that’s heartbreaking.”

Henderson continued to stress the importance of masking inside the classroom with Mississippi Today reporters, saying that “not only do masks work, they help kids stay in school.”

“Last year during the school year, most Mississippi schools were able to teach kids in-person because of universal masking within the school setting,” Henderson said. “This year, however, when school started with masks optional, we quickly saw the widespread transmission among children.”

At the conclusion of her interview with Mississippi Free Press’s co-founders, Henderson said the one thing that she would like for parents, educators and caregivers to know is that “children are 25% of our population, but they are 100% of our future. Kids don’t have a voice. We are their voice. Pediatricians and parents have to stand up for them.”

CBS: “Our clinics are overrun”: Pediatric COVID-19 cases spike in Mississippi

NBC w/ Dr. Stewart: Inside Mississippi’s 4th Covid wave: Younger patients, crying nurses and 7 ICU beds left

Mississippi Today: 

Mississippi Today Podcast: COVID-19 is rapidly spreading among Mississippi children

MS Free Press: MFP Live: Anita S. Henderson, MD

Tate Rutland


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