Dr Sean O’Leary, vice president of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee for Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday that cases of coronavirus in children should be taken seriously.
“It is not fair to say that this virus is completely benign in children,” O’Leary said. “We have had 90 child deaths in the US already, in just a few months. Wedo year we worry about the flu in children, and there are approximately 100 child deaths from the flu each year.”
Leary said numerous factors have led to a recent increase in the number of coronavirus infections in children in the past two weeks, including increased testing, increased mobility in children, and an increase in infection among the general population.
“When you see a lot more infections in the general population, you will see a lot more infections in children,”; O’Leary said.
“We all need to take this virus seriously, including caring for our children,” O’Leary said.
Deaths still rare
The new report uses case numbers provided by the state health departments of 49 states, New York City, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
There were 179,990 new Covid-19 cases among American children between July 9 and August 6, according to the report. At least 380,174 total cases of children with Covid-19 have been reported since 6 August.
To date, severe symptoms still appear to be rare in children with Covid-19 infections. Children were between 0.5% and 5.3% of the total hospital, according to data from the states that record that information. Children were from 0% to 0.4% of all Covid-19 deaths.
Nineteen states have not reported child deaths. In the states that tracked the details, 0% to 0.5% of all Covid-19 child cases resulted in death. However, experts worry that these numbers may increase as cases in children increase and more children with autoimmune disorders and other risk factors are affected.
“As case counts rise on board, this is likely to affect even more seriously ill children,” O’Leary said in a news release from the VET.
VET called for an effective testing strategy so that communities can make the right choice for opening schools.
“In areas with rapidly spreading community, it is likely that even more children will be infected, and these data show that … It is up to us to make the difference, community by community,” said VET President Dr. . Sally Goza in the news release
“To protect everyone in our communities – children, adolescents and the elderly – we need to follow all the public health measures we know the virus can contain. This includes physical distance, wearing a face mask, washing clothes. hands and avoiding large gatherings, “O’Leary said.
Children easily spread the virus
“Children ages zero to five can be” very contagious to other people. “It turns out they have a thousand times more virus in their nose than you have to infect, so they are very, very contagious,” said William Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical School, in an interview with CNN on Monday. .
“There is every reason to suspect that this virus, although it can kill you, behaves very much like a cold virus, in terms of transmission. Who manages colds? Children run colds,” said Haseltine, known for his work. deep in HIV / AIDS and the human genome.
“And this is true for almost all respiratory diseases, including colds and including colds that are caused by coronaviruses. And this is one of those cousins,” Haseltine added. “It even uses the same receptor in the nasal passages as one of the cold viruses. It happens to be a cold virus that also kills.”
The need for ICUs is the same as for adults
The report reviewed hospital records from 14 states and found 576 Covid-19 cases among children in need of hospitalization from March to July 25th.
Although not many children needed hospital care, if they were to be admitted, one in three had to be treated in the intensive care unit, the CDC team reported. This is the same rate as for adults.
“Children can develop severe COVID-19 disease; during the surveillance period, one in three children were admitted to the ICU. Hispanic and black children had the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rates,” the team wrote.
The CDC did not have complete data for every child, but for 208 that the CDC was able to make a complete summary of the medical chart, it found that 69 were admitted to the ICU and nearly 6% of them had to be put on a ventilator. One of those children died.
Children aged 2 years and younger were more likely to be hospitalized. Hispanic and black children are more likely to be hospitalized than White children. More than 40% had one or more underlying conditions. Obesity was the most common underlying condition, followed by chronic lung disease.
While Covid-19 symptoms tend to be mild in children, they can spread the disease. To slow the pandemic, the CDC said children should be encouraged to wash their hands often, keep a good physical distance away from others, and if they are 2 years old or older, they should wear a mask when around people outside their family members.