Pandemic claims 7 more lives; 12-year-old released after 24 days in ICU

There are 257 active cases being reported this week (with many more at-home tests not reported, as the health unit points out). Since last Monday’s Medina County Health Unit report, there have been an additional seven deaths from COVID-19 in Medina County residents.
The local hospital reports that the surge has stabilized somewhat, though they are still 78% full and continuing to treat Covid-19 patients locally. However, they are glad to report that their ability to transfer to San Antonio ICUs and hospitals when needed has greatly improved.
While most kids recover quickly from Covid infections, we have seen a stark increase in the number of local children hospitalized and needing ICU care in recent weeks. We are happy to report that 12-year-old child, Caleb Ramirez of Hondo, was finally able to return home this week after 24 days in Intensive Care and almost two weeks on a ventilator.
His mother stated, “I want to thank everyone who took the time to pray for my son. The power of prayer is beautiful. I knew there was a light at the end of our tunnel, and from here on out, there’s sunshine! Thank you Jesus, thank you for all the great blessings we received today. I can’t thank you enough for how awesome you’ve been to Caleb. After 24 long days, we’re finally being discharged because God made it possible. Caleb still has a long recovery road ahead of him. But with God all things are possible.”

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Why it has impacted so many children in Hondo so much worse remains a mystery. When asked, Dr. Richard Neel, MD, MPH commented on the Mu strain, and like anyone else, wonders what the common factors are. “As far as what strain it is, all we can do is worry,” Dr. Neel said. “Because we don’t know. Being in South Texas, we are at an increased risk for variants to be brought in by illegal immigrants from other countries.”
“All this time, children have for the most part gotten over Covid after just 2-3 days, except for asthmatics who seem to have a much harder time,” Neel commented. “There is something about asthma, even if a person only had childhood asthma years ago when they were very young, that this virus seems to hit on.”
“One thing is for sure, if you have a child who is running fever for more than three days, I would suggest coming back, because antibiotics may very well be needed,” Neel said, adding “We are also seeing children with Covid and RSV or Strep at the same time. This could also explain why some of these children are more impacted or sick.”
More than 100 kids in Devine ISD have had Covid this school year already, with about a third of those being active.
Lytle ISD has also had over 100 students infected with Covid this school year, and currently has 7 active cases.
Hondo ISD has 42 active student cases and 5 staff cases (recovered not listed).
Natalia ISD has 4 active cases in staff and 6 in students, and has had 17 cases total this school year.
Locally, Crawford Pharmacy in Devine offers walk-in vaccinations on a daily basis during normal business hours, as does CVS in Lytle.