More than 587,000 children in the United States have tested positive for Covid-19 since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
The organizations found that 74,553 cases of Covid-19 in children were reported between Sept. 3-17 – a 15% increase in this group over two weeks – for a total of 587,948 cases of coronavirus in children, according to their weekly pediatric report.
Cases listed by age are provided by health department websites in 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, but only a subset of states report hospitalizations and mortality by age, the groups said.
Children made up between 4%-15.9% of total state tests in 11 states reporting the numbers, and between 3.5% -15.7% of children tested were positive for the virus, the report said. In the 25 states and New York City reporting child hospitalizations, children represented 0.5%-3.7% of the total number of hospitalizations, and between 0.2%-8% of all child Covid-19 cases resulting in hospitalization.
In 42 states and New York City, children accounted for 0% to 0.33% of all Covid-19 deaths, and 18 states reported no child deaths.
The AAP is calling for even more detailed reporting from states.
“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to Covid-19 is rare among children,” the report said. “However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on Covid-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age and race/ethnicity so that the effects of Covid-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored.”
Children only represent about 10% of all reported cases in the US, according to the report, but the number of cases are likely underreported because the tally relies on state data that is inconsistently collected.