Young Girl with Doll Wearing Mask

US Reports 90% Increase In Covid-19 Cases Among Children In The Last Four Weeks

One of the largest debates regarding the Covid-19 pandemic this month has been whether or not our country should be sending its kids back to school. For many, they don’t see the problem as long as proper health and safety measures are taken, but for others, they’re confused as to how back in March the country cancelled in-person learning over a couple thousand cases in the US, but is sending kids back to school after we’ve exceeded 5 million cases and 163,000 deaths. 

Even more staggering, within the last four weeks alone, there has been a 90% increase in the number of coronavirus cases among children in the US. This data comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Administration, which has been updating their stats weekly. 

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Dr. Sean O’Leary is the Vice President of AAP’s committee on infectious diseases, and recently spoke with the media about the lack of focus the country has when it comes to children being infected with Covid-19. He believes a major factor to this is because children are much less likely to have a terminal diagnosis for the virus, however, that doesn’t make it’s impact any less severe on the child; there have been about 90 children in the US that have died from the coronavirus. 

“We all have to take this virus seriously, including taking care of our children. To protect everyone in our communities we must follow all the public health measures that we know can contain the virus. This includes avoiding large gatherings.”

Between July 9th and August 6th there were 179,990 new Covid-19 cases among children in the US, bringing the total number of cases in kids up to 380,174. The data showed that children account for .5% – 5.3% of all coronavirus-related hospitalizations and also account for up to .4% of the deaths. While these numbers are extremely lower when compared to immunocompromised/older individuals who get infected, the fact that this virus has killed even one child who was otherwise completely healthy should be enough cause for concern for parents everywhere. 

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For children especially, one of the biggest concerns is how easily they’re able to spread the virus because they’re so much less likely to exhibit symptoms or be hospitalized. Many are worried about US school staff health and safety specifically, and William Haseltime, a former professor at Harvard’s Medical School, claims that administrations need to be thinking of that as top priority. 

“Children can be highly infectious to other people. It turns out they have a thousand times more virus in their nose than you need to infect, so they’re very, very contagious. There’s every reason to suspect that this virus  behaves pretty much like a cold virus in terms of transmission.”

New reports from the US’ Centers for Disease Control also show that when kids are hospitalized for Covid-19, they need to be administered to the Intensive Care Unit as often as adults do. The report specifically measured information taken from 14 states which found that 576 children were administered to the ICU between March and July. 

Children under the age of two hold the same level of risk as an elderly individual due to the fact that their immune systems are much less developed when compared to a toddler or older child. To slow down the spread and risk of infection, the CDC recommends you make your kids wash their hands as often as possible, ensure they understand the importance of social distancing, and of course, make sure they always wear their mask.