Healthcare

Nearly 1 million child COVID-19 infections reported in past week

Nearly 1 million children were infected with COVID-19 in the last week according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, four times the rate of the peak of last winters’ surge.

For the week ending Jan. 13, more than 981,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported, a 69 percent increase over the 580,000 cases reported the week ending Jan. 6, and a tripling of case counts from the two weeks prior. 

Nearly 9.5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, and 10 percent of all cases have been added just in the past week. 

Since the pandemic began, children represented nearly 18 percent of total cases in the U.S. For the week ending Jan. 13, children were 21.4 percent of reported weekly COVID-19 cases 

For the 23rd week in a row, there are more than 100,000 child COVID-19 cases. Since the first week of September, there have been over 4.4 million additional child cases.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said it relies on state reporting for hospitalizations, and only 24 states and New York City break down hospitalizations by age. 

But among states reporting, the numbers were lower than those of adults. Children ranged from 1.7 percent to 4.4 percent of total hospitalizations, and 0.1 percent to 1.5 percent of all child COVID-19 cases across those reporting states resulted in hospitalization.

Mortality was even lower. Among states reporting, children made up between 0 and 0.26 percent of all COVID-19 deaths; four states reported no child deaths.

The new numbers come a day after Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) sent a letter to President Biden urging him to prioritize manufacturing and distribution of high quality masks for children.

While the administration is making 400 million N95 masks available for free at pharmacies and health centers, those are for adults. Schrier, a pediatrician, noted N95 masks are not meant for children, and the Chinese KN95 version is expensive and hard to find. 

When parents do find them, it can be hard to tell if they are authentic or counterfeit.

Healthcare