When entire global community is struggling hard to combat the spread of coronavirus, there is a report that cases in the US have witnessed a dramatic increase among children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) saw a 90 per cent spike in pediatric cases in a month.
Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases said that coronavirus cases in children should be taken seriously.
“It’s not fair to say that this virus is completely benign in children,” said O’Leary. “We’ve had 90 deaths in children in the US already, in just a few months. Every year we worry about influenza in children, and there are roughly around 100 deaths in children from influenza every year.”
Leary said that multiple factors have led to a recent increase in the number of coronavirus infections in children in the past couple of weeks, including increased testing, increased movement among children and a rise in infection among the general population.
“When you see a lot more infections in the general population, you’re going to see a lot more infections in children,” said O’Leary.
“We all have to take this virus seriously, including taking care of our children,” said O’Leary.
The new report uses case numbers provided by state health departments of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
There were 179,990 new Covid-19 cases among US children between July 9 and August 6, according to the report. At least 380,174 total child Covid-19 cases have been reported as of August 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.
However, experts worry those numbers may increase as cases in children rise and more children with autoimmune disorders and other risk facts are impacted.
“As case counts rise across the board, that is likely to impact more children with severe illness as well,” O’Leary said in a news release from the AAP.
The AAP called for an effective testing strategy so that communities can make the right choice about opening schools.
“In areas with rapid community spread, it’s likely that more children will also be infected, and these data show that … It is up to us to make the difference, community by community,” AAP President Dr. Sally Goza said in the news release.
“To protect everyone in our communities — children, teens, and older adults — we must follow all the public health measures that we know can contain the virus. This includes physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings, washing our hands, and avoiding large gatherings,” O’Leary said.