WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The COVID-19 cases among children in the US have reached more than half a million while the death toll is at 103, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics report.
- Even if children have a lower chance of getting severe complications from the virus, they could still infect other members of the household.
- Across the US, children hold 9.8 percent of the more than six million cases.
Children who have contracted the novel coronavirus in the US now account to around 500,000 and counting, and deaths are at 103, based on the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics on Tuesday.
According to the report, about 70,630 cases were recorded among children from August 20 to September 3. Currently, the total cases within the group are at 513,415, posting 16 percent growth versus the previous period. States with the most increases are Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
In a statement, Academy President Dr. Sara Goza said that “these numbers are a chilling reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously.”
Children were found to have isolated cases of having severe complications due to COVID-19. Based on the data from New York City and a subset of 23 states, this group comprised only between 0.7 up to 3.7 percent of hospitalization cases.
Even if the children could cope with the harmful implications of the virus, they are still capable of spreading the disease to other household members.
“While much remains unknown about COVID-19, we do know that the spread among children reflects what is happening in the broader communities,” Goza said. “A disproportionate number of cases are reported in Black and Hispanic children and in places where there is high poverty.”
The bulk of new infections during summer emanated from the South, the Midwest, and the West, the researchers said in a statement.
“This rapid rise in positive cases occurred over the summer, and as the weather cools, we know people will spend more time indoors,” Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases, said.
The academy also suggested that every child with more than 6 months of age should obtain the flu vaccine by end October. This would help avoid a “twindemic” of influenza and COVID-19.
“The goal is to get children back into schools for in-person learning, but in many communities, this is not possible as the virus spreads unchecked,” O’Leary said. “We must take this seriously and implement the public health measures we know can help; that includes wearing masks, avoiding large crowds, and maintaining social distance.”
Nationwide, the cases among children hold 9.8 percent of over six million cases.
The data of the report ━ a mutual effort between the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association ━ were gathered from each of the states.