There were more than 144,000 new cases of Covid-19 reported among children in the week ending Nov. 19 – marking the highest weekly increase since the pandemic began, according to an update Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Children now account for more than 11% of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the US. There has been a 28% increase in child Covid-19 cases over two weeks.
The AAP said 144,145 new cases among children 17 and under were reported from Nov. 5 to 19. The group, which represents pediatricians, says nearly 1.2 million children have been infected in the US as of Nov. 19. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 12.2 million Americans have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Severe illness and death from Covid-19 are still rare among children. As of Nov. 19, children represented between 1.2% and 3.1% of total hospitalizations, depending on the state. Between 0.2% and 5.6% of all child Covid-19 cases resulted in hospitalizations in states that reported that information, and fewer than 0.14% of all children with Covid-19 died. Seventeen states reported no child deaths.
The count is not complete, because not all states report data the same way. These numbers come from 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. A smaller subset of states report information about hospitalizations and deaths by age.
The AAP says there is an “urgent need” to collect more data on longer-term impacts on children, including the ways in which the virus may hurt children physically and emotionally long-term.