Back in August, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report showing 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks of July, a 40% increase. compared to the previous two weeks. Now, the AAP has released a new report with more staggering numbers: More than 61,000 children tested positive for the virus just last week.
“The number of new child COVID-19 cases reported this week, more than 61,000, is the highest since the pandemic began, ”the AAP said in the report.
As of October 29, there were 853,635 cases of COVID-19 reported in children, the report said. Children account for more than 11% of total viral infections in the country.
The latest data shows a growing trend. In October alone, nearly 200,000 new cases of COVID-19 children were reported, according to AAP data. While the AAP report provides robust data, it doesn’t give an exact explanation of why these cases are on the rise.
Experts say that the rise in cases is making it difficult – and there may be a couple of factors behind it.
Bessey Geevarghese, a Lurie pediatric infectious disease doctor at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, told Yahoo Life that the numbers reflect what’s happening in the general community. “Much higher level [in children] because overall cases are on the rise, ”she said. “Children are more likely to get COVID-19 from family contacts”.
Dr. Juan C. Salazar, general physician and executive vice president of academic affairs at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, agrees. “There is always a widespread spread in the community that affects children,” he told Yahoo Life. “The kids are in the community, they’re attending schools and gathering with potentially infected adults. It is a widespread virus that does not ignore any part of the population – not even children. “
Dr. Danelle Fisher, a pediatrician and vice president of pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, told Yahoo Life that the incremental numbers were “super disappointing”, adding that it is “definitely a function of adults spreading the virus to children.”
“Impotence is in adults,” said Fisher. “Adults must practice away from society and wear a mask. If not, they risk bringing COVID-19 back to the children.
Infectious disease specialist, Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Medical Security Center, told Yahoo Life that children also appear to be engaged in more extracurricular activities, such as body play. sports without wearing a mask. However, he says, direct school does not seem to be a factor: “Pure educational practices do not seem to motivate it.”
Dr. Richard Watkins, an infectious disease doctor in Akron, Ohio and a professor of medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical College, told Yahoo Life that cooler temperatures could also be a factor. “There is now more inside activity as the weather changes, which obviously increases the risk of spread,” he said.
Ultimately, kids are being tested for more than before. “There is growing recognition of the need to check on children in the early days of a pandemic,” Adalja said.
What can parents do to keep their children safe?
Adalja says the COVID-19 prevention rules still apply. That is, wearing a mask in public where age is appropriate, promoting social exclusion and encouraging good hand hygiene.
But Watkins says parents should also rethink how they approach play spots in their children’s homes. Adalja agrees. “Parents need to pay attention to their child’s activities,” he said.
That doesn’t necessarily mean kids can’t play with other kids anymore, Fisher said – families just need to be smart about it. She said: “We need to keep the small ones. “Identify a safe family or two to gather together to play games. If you keep it small and stick to only a few families, it will be safer ”.
Salazar also urges parents to be diligent. “Unfortunately, we have lowered our vigilance at all levels,” he said. “And as a result, the virus spreads very quickly.”
Experts expect things to get worse before they get better. “I’m very worried,” Salazar said. “Over the next two to three months, we really have to prepare for a significant number of cases. We have not controlled the virus in any way or shape and this virus does not respect any boundaries. It will continue to spread – to adults and children alike “.
For Latest news and updates about coronavirus, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over the age of 60 and those with the immunosuppression continue to be at greatest risk. If you have any questions, please consult CDC‘sand Who resource guide.
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