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Children’s share of COVID-19 burden continues to increase


 

Children continue to represent an increasing proportion of reported COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The 38,516 child cases reported during the week ending Sept. 17 bring the cumulative number to 587,948, which is 10.3% of all COVID-19 cases. The previous week, children represented 10.0% of all cases, and that proportion has continued to rise throughout the pandemic, the AAP and CHA report shows.

Looking at just new cases for the latest week, the 38,000+ pediatric cases made up almost 17% of the 228,396 cases reported for all ages, compared with 16% and 15% the two previous weeks. For the weeks ending Aug. 13 and Aug. 6, the corresponding figures were 8% and 13%, based on the data in the AAP/CHA report, which cover 49 states (New York City but not New York state), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

The state with the highest proportion of child COVID-19 cases as of Sept. 17 was Wyoming, with 20.6%, followed by North Dakota at 18.3% and Tennessee at 17.9%. New York City has a cumulative rate of just 3.4%, but New Jersey is the state with the lowest rate at 3.6%. Florida comes in at 5.9% but is using an age range of 0-14 years for children, and Texas has a rate of 6.0% but has reported ages for only 8% of confirmed cases, the AAP and CHA noted.

Severe illness, however, continues to be rare in children. The overall hospitalization rate for children was down to 1.7% among the 26 jurisdictions providing ages as Sept. 17 – down from 1.8% the week before and 2.3% on Aug. 20. The death rate is just 0.02% among 43 jurisdictions, the report said.

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