As some schools begin individualized classes, data prepared over the summer by the American Academy of Pediatrics show that children, adolescents, and adolescents are growing faster in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths than in the general population.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
The data set, spread from 21 May to 20 Aug Gust, varies from state to state, presumably. Makes the difference in how the virus affects infants, young children and adolescents.
For example, many states group infants and adolescents into similar groups. One state also includes people over the age of 24. But this increase is similar in the states.
Young children seem to catch and infect the virus less than adults, and children of all ages do not experience serious complications. But Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases, said children in communities spread across many parts of the United States are more likely to be infected.
The increase in reported cases comes as part of more comprehensive trials, but Dr. O’Leary said there was evidence that minors were infected at a higher rate than in early years because hospital admissions and deaths in children also increased.
However, as adults, it is still unknown how the virus affects young people, and black and Latino children who contract the virus are hospitalized.
“Anyone who has been on the front lines of this epidemic in a children’s hospital can tell you that we have taken care of a lot of sick children,” said Dr. O’Leary. “Yes, in children it is less severe than in adults, but it is not perfectly benign.”
Since the beginning of summer, in every state of the country, an increase in the number of young people who have tested positive for coronavirus is a part of all cases. At the end of May, about 0 percent of cases in the country were among minors. By August 20, that number had risen to more than 9 percent.
Changes in the share of coronavirus cases reported in minors since May 28
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics | Note: Data up to 20 August. States use different age ranges for children. Thirty-six states, including Washington, D.C., count up to 17, 18, or 19 years of age in their data. Florida and Utah count only at 14, Tennessee and South Carolina count at 20, and Alabama counts up to 24. In New York, only New York City reports an age distribution of cases.
Some lawmakers have said school-age children are less likely to be infected because schools should reopen for the individual class.
President Trump has said he would like to reopen schools altogether and falsely claim that children have “virtual immunity” from the virus in a video posted by his campaign. Facebook and Twitter later removed the video, saying it violated policies surrounding the virus. In July, Republican Gov. Ron Descentis of Florida claimed that “school kids aren’t really a vector for this.”
Ling. William Razka Jr., MD, College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, and Robert Larner, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, said that research consistently shows that adults – children – were running the virus. Despite the outbreak in summer camps and schools, it has been shown that transmission can occur in children.
At a sleepy summer camp in Georgia where hundreds were infected, 76 percent of the campers and staff members whose test results were available to researchers tested positive. The youngest campers, aged 6 to 10, are more likely to be infected than older campers.
It is clear that in some cases the virus is transmitted to children, Dr. Ruska said. They worry about opening schools in places where the rate of infection is high, especially in areas where people do not need to wear masks or other proven measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Unlike summer camps where children interact almost completely with other children and adolescents, schools require interaction between students with individual classes and their adult teachers and carers, who may be at higher risk of serious complications.
“One challenge is that you can’t just separate schools from the community,” Dr. Razka said. “When the community has a really high prevalence rate and you open schools, there’s a lot of broadcasting in schools.”
In June, a study published in Nature found that people under the age of 20 are almost as susceptible to virus infections as people over the age of 20. This low probability of infection is found in many states. In Arizona, for example, 2,800 people out of every 100,000 residents tested positive, while only 1,300 children out of every 100,000 children in the state tested positive.
It likely varies with age. Research has consistently shown that adolescents are more likely to catch and become infected with the virus than young children, although the causes are uncertain. The vast majority of those 10- to 19-year-old cases are younger than children in all states that track age groups separately.
Younger children participate less in reported cases than adolescents
Source: State Health Departments | Note: Data up to Aug. 26. The 10-year-old just divides his data. Georgia’s older series is 10 to 17 years old. North Dakota, South Carolina and Tennessee note age groups 0 to 10 and 11 to 20 years.
In early July, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Education and education groups recommended that the total number of infected children double and that schools reopen where possible. Despite the overall increase, experts said the guidelines are still applicable.
“There are many places in the U.S. where reopening schools is potentially safe, even knowing that, yes, children can be infected and yes, sometimes children can be seriously infected,” Dr. O’Leary said.
Some success stories show that it is possible to prevent transmission to children in places where the virus is low.
In four summer camps in Maine, the state with the lowest infection rate in the country, aggressive testing and quarantine prevented positive testers from spreading the virus. Germany, Denmark and Norway have been able to keep schools open due to the combination of low community transmission, fast and free testing and strict contact tracing.