Itasca, IL—As of mid-November, more than a million U.S. children had tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
That information came from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association, which are collaborating to collect and share all publicly available data from states on child COVID-19 cases. The groups point out that state-level reports are the best publicly available source for that information in the United States.
The associations said the age distribution of reported COVID-19 cases was provided on the health department websites of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. In fact, they add, children made up 11.5% of all cases in states reporting cases by age.
Based on a smaller subset of states reporting on hospitalizations and mortality by age, data indicated that COVID-19–associated hospitalization and death is rare in children, according to the AAP’s website.
“The number of new child COVID-19 cases reported this week, nearly 112,000, is by far the highest weekly increase since the pandemic began,” according to the pediatric specialty group. “At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.”
The 1,039,464 child COVID-19 cases reported represented 1,381 cases per 100,000 children in the population. In the previous week, 111,946 new child COVID-19 cases had been reported, and, over 2 weeks, a 22% increase occurred in child COVID-19 cases, according to the report.
The data also shows that children made up between 5.0% to 17.4% of total state tests, with between 3.9% to 18.8% of children who had the assays testing positive.
With 23 states and NYC reporting on hospitalizations, children were 1.2% to 3.3% of total reported admissions due to COVID-19. Between 0.5% and 6.1% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization, according to the report.
Deaths remained low in children, based on mortality reports from 42 states and New York City. Children were 0.00% to 0.21% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 16 states reported zero child deaths. Among states reporting, 0.00% to 0.15% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.
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