Children make up less than 2% of reported cases of Covid-19 in the United States for which age was known, according to a new report released today by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The research, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found 149,082 reported cases between Feb. 12 and April 2 where the patient's age was known, and 2,572 (or 1.7%) were among children younger than 18 years.
Infants younger than 1 year made up 15% of pediatric Covid-19 cases — or 0.27% of all reported Covid-19 cases with known age. Three deaths were reported among the pediatric cases included in the analysis.
Children seemed to have fewer hospitalizations than adults, according to the report: 20% of children for whom hospitalization status was known were hospitalized compared to 33% of 18 to 64-year-old adults with known status.
“Whereas most Covid-19 cases in children are not severe, serious Covid-19 illness resulting in hospitalization still occurs in this age group,” the report said.
However, data were available for a small proportion of patients, said the researchers. For example, hospitalization status was available for 29% of cases in children younger than 18 years and 31% of cases in adults ages 18 to 64 years.
Some more key findings:
- Among 345 pediatric cases with information on underlying conditions, 80 (23%) had at least one underlying condition, such as chronic lung disease – which was most commonly reported – and cardiovascular disease.
- For the 295 pediatric cases that had information on both hospitalization status and underlying medical conditions, 28 of 37 (77%) hospitalized children had one or more underlying medical condition – including all six admitted to an intensive care unit. Children who are less than 1 year made up 59 of the 147 (40%) pediatric hospitalizations and 5 of the 15 (33%) pediatric ICU admissions.
- Children with Covid-19 might not have reported fever or cough as often as adults, the report also said. Among those with available information, 73% of pediatric patients had symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, compared to 93% of adults ages 18 to 64 years during the same period.