By Nikhila Natarajan
New York, Nov 17 (IANS) As Americans exhausted by the deadly blow of coronavirus pin their hopes on new vaccines on the horizon, fresh data show that more than a million US children have tested positive for the virus, with the highest surge coinciding with the election week in the US.
Children account for 11.5 per cent of all US cases, although hospitalisation rates remain low.
“As on November 12, over 1 million children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic. The age distribution of reported Covid-19 cases was provided on the health department websites of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Children represented 11.5 per cent of all cases in states reporting cases by age,” said a new report from American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association.
Like the overall US case count that is rising at record speed as temperatures drop, pediatric cases are showing the “highest weekly increase since the pandemic began” but “severe illness” is rare among children, according to the report.
As on November 12, a total of 1,039,464 child Covid-19 cases were reported, and children represented 11.5 per cent of all cases on that date. Overall rate of infections: 1,381 cases per 100,000 children.
Between November 5 and November 11 alone, 111,946 new child Covid-19 cases were reported, the maximum pediatric surge since the US outbreak began. Children made up between 5 and 17 per cent of total state tests, and their test positivity rate ranges between 3.9 and 18.8 per cent.
Hospitalisation among children remains in the low single digits as a percentage of total pediatric cases. Between 0.5 and 6.1 per cent of all child Covid-19 cases resulted in hospitalisation. At least 16 states have reported zero child deaths and children accounted for 0.00-0.21 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths in the US.
The coronavirus outbreak, which began in China in the tail end of 2019, has killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide, and over 246,000 in the US alone. The first case reported here was on January 21, 2020.
The dramatic rise in cases in November has come more rapidly than a spike in mid-June and could quickly blow past the peak of the hospitalisations at the time.