More than 513,000 US children have been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
The groups found that 70,630 new child cases were reported from Aug. 20 through Sept. 3. This is a 16% increase in child cases over two weeks, bringing up the total to at least 513,415 cases, the groups said in their weekly report on pediatric coronavirus cases.
“These numbers are a chilling reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously,” said American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Sally Goza. “While much remains unknown about COVID-19, we do know that the spread among children reflects what is happening in the broader communities,” she added.
“A disproportionate number of cases are reported in Black and Hispanic children and in places where there is high poverty. We must work harder to address societal inequities that contribute to these disparities.”
Children represent nearly 10% of all reported cases in the US, according to the report. The child cases are likely underreported because the tally relies on state data that is inconsistently collected.
“This rapid rise in positive cases occurred over the summer, and as the weather cools, we know people will spend more time indoors,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, the vice chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.
“Now we are heading into flu season. We must take this seriously and implement the public health measures we know can help. That includes wearing masks, avoiding large crowds, and maintaining social distance. In addition, it will be really important for everyone to get an influenza vaccine this year. These measures will help protect everyone, including children.”