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Houston health experts highlight Hispanic community's hardships during COVID-19 crisis

A new study from the CDC found Hispanic kids were eight times more likely to than white children to be hospitalized.

HOUSTON — Hispanic and Black children are more likely to end up in the hospital because of coronavirus than other kids.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Hispanic kids were eight times more likely to than white children to be hospitalized.

This new information comes as local health officials try to raise awareness among Houston’s Latin communities who have been impacted the most by COVID-19.

Data from the Harris County Public Health and Houston Health Department shows Hispanics have been hit the hard by coronavirus.

Houston Health Department Health Authority, Dr. David Persse, said there’s nothing to suggest that people of Latin descent are predisposed to being infected with coronavirus.

“It appears that this is really more a function of the social determinants of health and poverty,” Dr. David Persse said.

Combined cases in the county and city show 21,408 Hispanics have been infected compared to 11,202 white and 9,673 black people.

“If you are dealing with poverty and all the implications of that, you have all the risk factors that are going to put you in a bad situation should you become infected,” Dr. Persse said.

In addition, Dr. Jayavani Moodley, medical director for Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, said many Hispanics live in multi-generational homes.

“It’s very difficult to isolate and keep it that six feet of distance,” Dr. Moodley said.

She added many are also essential workers.

“A lot of people that do this sort of jobs that don’t allow them to work from home on a computer screen and having Zoom meetings,” Dr. Moodley said. “Of course, these are jobs that are very important to our society but it puts these people at risk unfortunately.”

Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital CEO Malisha Patel said the hospital is reaching out to the Hispanic community directly by delivering masks, hand sanitizer and preventative information to homes in hard hit areas.

“The goal overall, one we want to reduce hospitalizations,” Patel said. “We want to reduce the number of folks getting COVID. We want to make sure our community is healthy.”