Early school year coincides with new data showing a staggering increase in children and adolescents diagnosed with COVID-19, as a new report shows nearly half of all children with The disease is diagnosed in a month.
The spike did not indicate any sinister changes in the virus that could make children more susceptible to disease. And there is no evidence that children are doing anything out of the ordinary leading to such an increase.
Instead, the source seems to originate in the communities in which children live.
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Dr Jodie Dionne-Odom, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, said: “Pediatric cases in every state we know of are on the rise with ill adults.
Those states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Tennessee. Each of those seven states has recorded more than 15,000 cases of COVID-19 among young people since the beginning of the pandemic.
Louisiana, Virginia and Carolinas all reported at least 10,000 pediatric cases. The numbers can be slightly misleading, as the states differ in how they identify the “child” in their COVID-19 report. For example, Alabama’s children’s population includes anyone under the age of 25.
The increase was detailed in a joint report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, published on Monday.
As of July 9, just over 200,000 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in children and young adults in the United States. But from 9 July to 6 August, an additional 179,990 cases of pediatric patients were reported – a 90 percent increase in just four weeks.
“It caught our attention,” said Dr. Susan Coffin, professor of infectious pediatric diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.
The summer spike came after the infection had settled down in the spring. Coffin contends that is because face-to-face learning has been halted and children mostly stay indoors, away from others in March and April. But warmer months lead to an increase in gatherings.
“The activities we’re all doing have expanded,” Coffin said.
“We cannot simply assume that we don’t have to worry about children because they don’t have to,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice president of the infectious diseases committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics. infection. “They absolutely do.”
O’Leary notes that some of the increases seen in children may reflect more screening. But for the most part, the spike is related to a spike in infections in general. “In areas where there is a huge increase in adult infections, there is also a large increase in childhood infections,” he said.
However, it appears that children are largely avoided the most serious health consequences of COVID-19.
Children accounted for 1.6% of total COVID-19 hospitalizations in the AAP report. But that percentage may not be representative of the country; Only 20 states and New York City provide data on the age of hospitalized patients.
According to the report, 90 young people died with COVID-19. Some of them have been diagnosed with an extremely rare but serious illness called childhood multifact inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, believed to be related to coronavirus, according to the Center. Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency has received reports of 570 confirmed cases of MIS-C, with additional cases being investigated.
Overall, children account for 9.1% of COVID-19 cases nationwide.
The new report comes just as schools across the country are opening their doors to students once again. Although most childhood infections are mild, some children have underlying medical conditions, such as obesity, that put them at risk for complications.
Furthermore, teachers and other school staff may also be at greater risk if they have underlying medical conditions or get older.
Coffin emphasizes that the way to safely reopen schools is to control the spread of COVID-19 in surrounding areas, even in households without children.
“Schools are the complex microcosm of our larger community,” Coffin said. “If we know about wearing masks in public and restrict the size of gatherings, we will eventually open our schools to give direct instruction.”
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Other experts agree.
“You have to keep an eye on the ball when you reopen the door,” said Dr. Roberta DeBiasi, head of the department of Infectiousness at the National Hospital for Children in Washington.
“We don’t want parents to panic,” DeBiasi said. “But we also don’t want people to be too leisurely and say ‘I don’t need to wear masks or worry about playgroups because my kids can’t get infected’.”
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