COVID-19 cases among children continue to hit nearby highlights

Coronavirus infections among children continue to hit near-record highs in the United States, with pediatric cases accounting for nearly 26% of all new cases reported last week, according to a new report.

Nearly 226,000 new pediatric cases were reported between September 9 and 16, slightly lower than the previous two weeks’ totals, but still higher than at any other time during the pandemic. according to the report released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The weekly number of cases decreased slightly – from 243,373 the previous week to the last number of 225,978 – but pediatric cases accounted for a total of 25.7% of all cases reported in the country, up from 15.5% the week before.

This latest boom in COVID-19 infections among children is primarily seen in the South, according to the report, as officials in this region have largely struggled with mitigation efforts such as mask mandates and vaccination requirements.

“Children’s cases are high in places where community cases are high,” says Dr. Sean O’Leary, Vice Chairman of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, to HuffPost. “Where we see the highest rates in the entire population, children’s cases are rising.”

COVID-19 cases among children have increased in recent weeks.

MediaNews Group / Orange County Register via Getty Images via Getty Images

COVID-19 cases among children have increased in recent weeks.

Children returning to classrooms are not necessarily the cause of the increase in cases. Instead, a combination of high transmission from society, low vaccination rates and fewer efforts to stem infections have allowed the highly contagious delta variant to spread, especially among children who are not qualified to be vaccinated, he said. O’Leary.

“They are essentially completely unprotected. And so even in places where there is high vaccination coverage in the adult population, if there is still a lot of transmission from the community, you will see proportionally more children infected, ”he said.

The effect of the delta variant has been evident in the constant increase in pediatric cases since the beginning of the summer.

Weekly cases of COVID-19 among children dropped to only 8,447 in the week of June 24, with the delta variant accounting for about 20% of new cases in the United States. As the delta variant spread rapidly, accounting for 83% of all new COVID-19 cases before July, so did cases among children.

Today, the delta variant is responsible for almost all new cases in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The best way to deal with this situation is to get as many people, including adults, vaccinated as quickly as possible, because it will reduce the transmission of society and protect children who are too young to be vaccinated,” O’Leary said. , who also reminded parents to make sure their children are up to date with all their other recommended vaccines.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer announced Monday that it will seek emergency use before the end of the month to administer its coronavirus vaccine to children between the ages of 5 and 11. Currently, only those over the age of 12 are eligible to be vaccinated.

In the latest report by AAP and CHA, both groups noted that children are less likely than adults to suffer from severe disease or die from coronavirus. However, more research is needed to determine the long-term impact of the pandemic on children, “including ways in which the virus can harm the physical health of infected children in the long term, as well as its emotional and mental health effects,” the health organizations said in a statement.


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