Story at a glance
- The American Academy of Pediatrics says 61,447 kids were diagnosed with COVID-19 from Oct. 22 through Oct. 29.
- That’s the highest weekly increase in children since the start of the pandemic.
- More than 853,000 children in the U.S. have contracted the virus since the outbreak began.
More than 61,000 new COVID-19 cases in children were reported across the U.S. in just less than two weeks, according to a weekly report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The report says 61,447 children in the U.S. were diagnosed with COVID-19 from Oct. 22 through Oct. 29, the highest increase of cases in kids since the pandemic began.
The percentage of pediatric cases has increased steadily since mid-April when kids accounted for just 2 percent of the nation’s coronavirus cases. More than 853,000 children have contracted the coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic, making up 11.1 percent of all U.S. cases.
“This is a stark reminder of the impact this pandemic is having on everyone — including our children and adolescents,” Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement. “This virus is highly contagious, and as we see spikes in many communities, children are more likely to be infected, too.”
The report found that children make up less than 3.5 percent of current coronavirus hospitalizations, and 121 have died over the course of the pandemic. The organization says the number of reported cases in children is likely an undercount as children often experience mild or no symptoms and may not be tested for the illness.
While severe illness and death from COVID-19 appears to be rare among children, the organization said there’s an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term effects of the virus on kids, including the emotional and mental health impacts.
The report uses state health data from 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
The increase in cases among children comes as the U.S. is experiencing an alarming surge of cases and hospitalizations heading into the colder months.
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