WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight-year-old Brooklynn Chiles fidgets on the hospital bed as she waits for the nurse at Children’s National Hospital. The white paper beneath her crinkles as she shifts to look at the medical objects in the room. She’s had coronavirus three times, and no one can figure out why.
Brooklynn’s lucky, sort of. Each time she has tested positive, she has suffered no obvious symptoms. But her dad, Rodney, caught the virus — possibly from her — when she was positive back in September, and he died from it.
Her mom, Danielle, is dreading a next bout, fearing her daughter could become gravely ill even though she’s been vaccinated.
“Every time, I think: Am I going to go through this with her, too?” she said, sitting on a plastic chair wedged in the corner. “Is this the moment where I lose everyone?”
More than 12.7 million children in the U.S. alone have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Generally, the virus doesn’t hit kids as severely as adults.