Two-year-old hospitalized for COVID complications Quebec's Bas-St-Laurent region
MONTREAL -- A two-year-old child in Quebec's Bas-St-Laurent region has been hospitalized for COVID-19, according to data published by regional public health on Tuesday.
Public health did not specify the type of complication the child suffered or whether they were hospitalized as a preventive measure.
A top Quebec doctor says that while children have been hospitalized in Quebec, it's hard to generalize about what kind of effects they suffer -- but she said there's no reason to think the virus variants are more dangerous to children than the original virus.
It would be impossible to comment on the specific Bas-St-Laurent case "without knowing what led to that child’s hospitalization," said Dr. Caroline Quach, a pediatric specialist who also acts as a medical adviser to the province.
"We have had admissions of young children with COVID," she said. "Sometimes it was just a matter of rehydrating them."
The province's major worry right now, the variants of the virus, shouldn't translate yet into extra worries about young children, she said.
"We do not have, at this point, any evidence that the new variants of concern are more dangerous for children," Quach said.
"They are more transmissible, which does not mean that we will have more complications. Surveillance of outcomes is necessary and with time, we will know. But right now, it doesn’t seem to be that way."
Children have suffered relatively rarely from complications of COVID-19, but there have still been nearly 200 children Quebec kids hospitalized with the virus.
In Quebec, since the start of the pandemic, 172 children between 0 and nine years old have been hospitalized with COVID-19, according to data from the National Institute of Public Health.
Of those, 148 were hospitalized outside intensive care while 24 were in intensive care.
Since the pandemic began, 23,607 children in that age range have contracted the virus in Quebec, accounting for 7.8 per cent of the province's cases.
No deaths in that age group have been reported in the province.
The Bas-St-Laurent region reported 30 suspected cases of a COVID-19 variant on Tuesday. More than 750 students were in isolation due to outbreaks in schools. Local health director Sylvain Leduc said the region is dealing with at least a dozen new outbreaks.
"People are sick, particularly adults," he said.
Variants are of particular concern over spreading, said Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious diseases specialist at the MUHC.
"Every effort should be made to contain those variants and prevent them from transmitting to others because if we don't get that under control now, it will lead to community transmission and we'll get a third wave," he said.
--With files from The Canadian Press and CTV's Matt Gilmour