KEY POINTS

  • American Academy of Pediatrics: Over 513,000 Children have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Over the last two weeks, about 70,630 new pediatric COVID-19 cases are reported
  • AAP urges children above 6 months of age to get their flu shots by October

Last month, researchers reported in Pediatrics — the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) — that children appeared to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 far less frequently than adults and that even when they did, the symptoms were only mild. However, the new data pertaining to COVID-19 in children pointed out that over half a million in this age group have been infected with the virus.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) along with the Children’s Hospital Association reported on Tuesday that 513,415 pediatric COVID-19 cases have been reported so far in the nation and kids accounted for about 9.8% of all coronavirus cases.

The report also highlighted the following details about COVID-19 cases in children:

  • Between Aug. 8 to Sept. 3, 70,630 new pediatric COVID-19 cases were reported
  • About 0.7 to 3.7% of total reported COVID-19-related hospitalizations were children
  • The COVID-19 death rate among children was 0 to 0.2% of all pediatric cases

"These numbers are a chilling reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously. While much remains unknown about COVID-19, we do know that the spread among children reflects what is happening in the broader communities," CNN quoted Dr. Sally Goza, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"A disproportionate number of cases are reported in Black and Hispanic children and in places where there is high poverty. We must work harder to address societal inequities that contribute to these disparities," she added.

AAP also recommended that children above 6 months of age get their flu shots by the end of October. They highlighted the importance of the flu vaccine this year in order to help prevent a "combined pandemic" or "twindemic."  The public health officials have warned that emergency services and the hospital beds are likely to extend beyond their capacities, especially in communities where COVID-19 cases remain high.

"Now we are heading into flu season. We must take this seriously and implement the public health measures we know can help. That includes wearing masks, avoiding large crowds, and maintaining social distance. In addition, it will be really important for everyone to get an influenza vaccine this year. These measures will help protect everyone, including children," CNN quoted Dr. Sean O’Leary, the vice-chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases. 

Coronavirus in children According to a pediatrician, it was possible that most children already have coronavirus, and that they may be serving as vectors of the disease. Photo: David Veksler - Unsplash