Increasing COVID-19 Infections in Children
Increasing COVID-19 infections in children
On November 23, 2020, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association reported an increasing number of children with COVID-19 based on available public data.
-Over 144000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in children for the week November 12-19, 2020. This is the highest weekly count in children since the pandemic began and represents a 28% increase in the most recent two weeks
-Between 4-23% of children have tested positive for COVID-19.
-1.2 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
-Children represent about 12% of all cases and 1-3% of all hospitalized cases
-0.0 to 0.14% of all child COVID-19 cases result in death. This death rate is low compared with other age categories. Seventeen states reported no deaths in children with COVID-19.
Higher risk of COVID-19 in children of minority race/ethnicity, chronic illness, and increasing age.
A research group from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia evaluated inpatient data for roughly 136,000 children at 7 children’s hospitals in the US, who were tested for COVID-19.
-5374 children (4%) tested positive
-Although children of non-white races were up to half as likely to have been tested compared with white children, they were 2-4 times more likely to test positive.
-Other categories more likely to test positive included but were not limited to children with gastrointestinal disorders, malignancies, and metabolic disorders
-7% or 359 of 5374 children with COVID-19 infection were hospitalized
-28% of hospitalized children required ICU care
-9% of hospitalized children required mechanical ventilation
-mortality was 0.2% or 8 of 5374 COVID-19 positive children.
Long term effects of COVID-19 in children may be psychosocial
Dmitri Christakis, Editor of JAMA Pediatrics summarizes comprehensively how COVID-19 may impact children.
The direct consequences of the infection are mild symptoms, very low mortality, and the rare multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MISC).
The more profound effects are likely to be the effects of separation from family, either for preventive reasons or because of infection in family members, loss of family members to COVID-19, distance learning and restricted socialization, and potential loss of financial stability of families.
What to do if you suspect your child has COVID-19
If your child has symptoms or has been around someone recently diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection or someone who has been exposed to COVID-19, please call your primary care physician. Below are some useful links