Thursday, March 30, 2023

COVID-19 Cases Among Children in the US on the Rise As Schools Reopen

COVID-19 Cases Among Children in the US on the Rise As Schools Reopen

As millions of children are heading back to schools across the United States, thousands of them are testing positive for Covid-19. More than 250,000 children had fresh cases of Covid-19 in the last week of August, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in a report published on Wednesday. This is the highest weekly rate of new pediatric cases since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that children’s hospitals are straining under the surge in fresh Covid-19 cases. About 2,500 children were hospitalized with Covid-19 in the week up to September 6. The CDC report also implied that over 55,000 youngsters have been hospitalized with Covid-19 through August 2020, who had no prior medical history. Though the deaths related to the infections are still not rampant, yet, approximately 520 children had died due to Covid-19 as of Wednesday.

The CDC released a report on September 3 that showed a five-fold increase in child hospitalization rates because of the Delta variant. In the same June-August time period, hospitalizations were 10 times higher for children under the age of four and those between the ages of 12 to 17. Hospitalization was 10 times higher among unvaccinated than vaccinated children, the report stated. Another CDC report from September 3 found that although hospitalization rates for children climbed from June to August, they were lower in states with higher vaccination uptake.

“It’s very important for children who are eligible to be vaccinated. There’s just no other way to protect ourselves right now except using vaccination along with mitigation – wearing masks, washing our hands, trying to maintain our social distance,” Dr. Mary Caserta, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’s committee on infectious diseases, told the Guardian.

According to AAP, all US states have seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, but the numbers have been uneven throughout the nation, with 11 states reporting more than 150,000 pediatric cases and three states with fewer than 10,000 pediatric cases last week. Tennessee, South Carolina, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Mississippi have the highest cases per 100,000 children.