More than 500,000 children in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported on Tuesday, and the rate of new cases among children continues to rise.
From 20 August to 3 September, 70,630 cases were reported among children – a 16 percent increase – bringing the national total to 513,415. Six states recorded the largest increases: Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
According to the report, 103 children have died.
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The president of the academy, Dr. “These numbers are a reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously,” Sara Gooja said in a statement.
Half a million pediatric cases represent 9.8 percent of the total of more than 6 million cases in the country.
The report is a collaboration between the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, and relies on data collected by each state.
Severe consequences and complications of coronovirus in children are rare. Between 23 states and a subset of New York City, children had enough illness to be hospitalized anywhere between 0.7 percent and 3.7 percent of patients.
While children may be spared the worst consequences on a large scale, experts say they can spread the virus to more vulnerable family members.
“While much is unknown about COVID-19, we know that the prevalence among children reflects what is happening in wider communities,” Goza said. “An unsafe number of cases are reported in Black and Hispanic children and in places of high poverty.”
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Researchers said that summer, in the South, Midwest and West, there has been a huge increase in pediatric cases.
The vice chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, Drs. Sean O’Leary said, “It increased rapidly in positive cases during the summer, and with the weather getting colder, we know that people will spend more time indoors.” in a statement.
Also on Tuesday, every child over 6 months of age should be helped by the academy to get a flu vaccine before the end of October to help prevent the “twidemic” of influenza and coronaviruses.
“The goal is to bring children back to schools for in-learning, but in many communities, this is not possible because the virus spreads uncontrollably,” O’Leary said. “We should take it seriously and implement public health measures that we know can help; this includes wearing masks, avoiding large crowds and maintaining long distances.”
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