CDC: Pediatric Hospitalizations for COVID-19 Increasing

A similar proportion of hospitalized children need intensive care as adults

sick child in hospital

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- While rates of hospitalization for children with COVID-19 remain low, they have been increasing, according to research published in the Aug. 7 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Lindsay Kim, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (March 1 to July 25, 2020) and identified 576 pediatric COVID-19 cases (<18 years).

The researchers note that the cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate among children was 8.0 per 100,000 population, with the highest rate among children aged <2 years (24.8 per 100,000). During the study period, weekly hospitalization rates steadily increased among children (from 0.1 to 0.4 per 100,000, with a weekly high of 0.7 per 100,000). There were higher cumulative rates observed for COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among Hispanic or Latino and non-Hispanic black children (16.4 and 10.5 per 100,000, respectively) versus non-Hispanic white children (2.1 per 100,000). For the 208 hospitalized children with complete medical chart reviews, one-third (33.2 percent) were admitted to an intensive care unit, 5.8 percent required invasive mechanical ventilation, and one patient (0.5 percent) died during hospitalization.

"Although the cumulative rate of pediatric COVID-19-associated hospitalization remains low (8.0 per 100,000 population) compared with that among adults (164.5), weekly rates increased during the surveillance period, and one in three hospitalized children were admitted to the ICU, similar to the proportion among adults," the authors write.

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