CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A Charlotte pediatric infectious disease expert describes the severity in COVID-19 cases among children as “unpredictable.”

Dr.Amina Ahmed with Atrium Levine Children’s Hospital said there has been an 80% jump in COVID cases among children across the country in recent weeks.

The doctor at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital said many of the cases in children that the local hospital is seeing are mild, but she said kids with severe COVID illness have been otherwise healthy kids, so the way children are going to react to COVID is pretty unpredictable.

With school starting back, the doctor says it’s imperative to keep kids in-person learning, so social distancing, frequent handwashing, eating outside if possible, or spreading out at lunch, when the masks come off, is best.

If your child’s school is ‘masks optional’ and some kids aren’t wearing a mask, the doctor says having your child wear a mask will still help.

“Two masks are best. You’re going to get 95% effectiveness, whereas one mask might give you 50%, but we know from studies done with other viruses for years and years, if you walk into a patient’s room and you have your mask on, and they have something like RSV or parainfluenza or influenza, you’re protecting yourself, so it’s definitely protecting them from COVID. It’s also protecting them from other viruses,” said Dr. Amina Ahmed, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital.

Doctors are watching out for Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome or MISC in kids. It’s a rare, but potentially dangerous illness that can occur in children two to four weeks after a COVID infection.

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