In a normal year children can be expected to experience all kinds of runny nose and colds. In 2020, however, parents will also try to keep their children away from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The infection, in turn, can cause a new condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. "MIS-C can be serious or even fatal, but most children diagnosed with the disease have gotten better with medical care," explains the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported this week that there have been 513,415 cases of COVID-19 in children, which is about 10% of all cases in the United States. But will the numbers increase? Between the last week of August and the first week of September, 70,630 new cases were reported in children. Data was collected from 49 states, New York City, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Earlier reports from late August also show rising cases in children. And this trend could not stop in the fall. "This rapid increase in positive cases occurred in the summer, and when the weather cools down, we know people will be spending more time indoors," said Dr. Sean O’Leary, Vice Chairman of the AAP Infectious Diseases Committee. Dr. O’Leary warned that a return to life may not be possible if the virus is not controlled. Dr. O’Leary shared his remarks in an AAP statement.
According to the AAP, cases in children continue to increase. Your data shows the trend in increasing cases in children (in red) that matches the overall trend (in blue).
Fortunately, child mortality was low at around 0.02%. But it is still important to be careful and prevent infections from spreading. "While much of the unknown is known about COVID-19, we do know that the spread among children reflects what is happening in the broader communities," said American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Sara Goza. “A disproportionate number of cases are reported in black and Hispanic children and in places of high poverty. We must work harder to remove the social inequalities that contribute to these inequalities. “Dr. Goza shared her remarks in the same statement.
Both the AAP data for cases per 100,000 children and the CDC data for cases per 100,000 children show Louisana, Florida, Mississippi, and Arizona with the highest rates in both categories. Cases in children are blue below and the CDC data for the total cases are pink.
Although the kids are back to school and Halloween is just around the corner, this is not your normal fall. Parents and children still need to be vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.
Sabrina Emms is a science journalist. She began as an intern on a health and science podcast on Philadelphia public radio. Before that, she worked as a researcher studying the way bones are formed. When she is not in the laboratory and at her computer, she is in the moonlight as an assistant to a pig veterinarian and bagel baker.