Cases of coronavirus among children have increased, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. During the weeks of August 6-20, there were over 74,160 new cases of COVID reported across the U.S., a number that represents a 21 percent increase in new cases among kids.
“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children,” said the AAP. “However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age so that the effects of COVID-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored.”
When children do contract COVID, they are often asymptomatic but still capable of transmitting the virus to others. All of this information comes at a time when schools are grappling with the decision whether to reopen or provide all-remote instruction.
According to the CDC, “adults make up most of the known cases to date.”
Another study, this one from the UK, said that children have only a small risk of death and severe illness from COVID – one doctor called those findings “reassuring.”
The CDC also said it is unclear whether children can transmit the virus as easily as adults. One explanation for the lower number of cases among children could be school closures since early spring. It will remain to be seen how the numbers are affected once schools resume to in-person learning.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association reported a total of 442,785 cases of COVID among children since the start of the pandemic.
The quarantine and shelter-in-place orders have resulted in a decrease in outpatient care and well visits for children, with many missing vaccinations for preventable diseases. Physicians agree that the numbers should not deter parents from getting their children the care and immunizations that they need.