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Number, Proportion of Pediatric COVID-19 Cases Rising in the U.S.

Less than 3 percent of reported cases were pediatric in April versus 12 to 15.9 percent in last eight weeks

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THURSDAY, Oct. 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric COVID-19 cases increased considerably from April to September in the United States, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in Pediatrics.

Blake Sisk, Ph.D., from the American Academy of Pediatrics in Itasca, Illinois, and colleagues describe pediatric COVID-19 infection in the United States using data drawn from publicly available COVID-19 information posted on health department websites. Information was collected from April 16 to Sept. 10, 2020.

The researchers found that as of Sept. 10, there were 549,432 cumulative child COVID-19 cases (729 per 100,000 children). Substantial variation was seen in case growth per region, with a preponderance of cases in the Northeast in April; cases surging in the South and West in June; and increases in the Midwest in mid-July. The proportion of COVID-19 cases that were pediatric increased considerably over time. Currently, children represent 10 percent of the cumulative number of reported cases; however, the number changed over time. In April, less than 3 percent of reported cases were pediatric, while children represented 12 to 15.9 percent of new weekly reported cases in the last eight weeks. Hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 were uncommon in children, with children representing 1.7 percent of total hospitalizations on Sept. 10 and 0.07 percent of total deaths; across the study period, these rates remained stable.

"We will continue to closely monitor children's cases, with hopes of seeing the upward trend turn around," Sally Goza, M.D., president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement.

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