There has been a 90% increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among US children over the last four weeks, according to a report published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
According to this new report, expected to be updated weekly, there were 179,990 new Covid-19 cases among US children between July 9 and Aug. 6. The data comes from case numbers provided by state health departments of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
Some of the increase may be due to more testing, AAP said. Early in the pandemic, testing was reserved for the sickest. A broader number of tests may be identifying children that have fewer or milder symptoms than those who were tested earlier in the pandemic.
Children make up just over 9% of the total cases in states that report cases by age, according to the report. At least 380,174 total child Covid-19 cases reported as of Aug. 6.
As of now, it still appears that severe symptoms are rare among children with Covid-19 infections. Children were between 0.5% and 5.3% of total hospitalizations, according to data from the states that record that information. Children were 0% to 0.4% of all Covid-19 deaths.
Nineteen states have reported no child deaths. In states that tracked the details, 0% to 0.5% of all child Covid-19 cases resulted in death.
The AAP called for an effective testing strategy so that communities can make the right choice about opening schools.
“The data – while limited because of its reliance on how each state reports its cases – underscores the urgent need to control the virus in communities so schools may reopen,” a news release from the AAP said.
“In areas with rapid community spread, it’s likely that more children will also be infected, and these data show that,” AAP President Dr. Sally Goza said in the news release. “As a pediatrician, I urge people to wear cloth face coverings and be diligent in social distancing and hand-washing. It is up to us to make the difference, community by community.”
The World Health Organization said last week that the coronavirus pandemic is starting to move into the younger population globally, while most cases, by far, are among people ages 25 to 64.