Covid-19 has killed 121 young people in the US, and most of them are minorities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The young people who succumbed to the virus were under 21 years old across the US. Based on the CDC’s newly published study, nearly two-thirds of them were Black and Hispanic.
The report comes days after reports emerged saying that Trump administration officials were constraining CDC’s process for releasing such studies.
The team is composed of CDC staff and officials from 30 state health departments. Findings suggest that young people usually do not become as sick as older Covid-19 patients. They noted there must be monitoring of the data as schools and child-care centers reopen.
“Although infants, children, and adolescents are more likely to have milder COVID-19 illness than are adults, complications, including MIS-C and respiratory failure, do occur in these populations,” the researchers pointed out. MIS-C is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, which is not typical but a severe condition that is linked to Covid-19.
Covid-19 cases among children
In August, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association published a state-level data report showing a 90% increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among US children over the past four weeks.
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the APP Committee on Infectious Diseases vice-chair Dr. Sean O’Leary pointed out that coronavirus cases in children should be taken seriously.
Dr. O’Leary said: “It’s not fair to say that this virus is completely benign in children. We’ve had 90 deaths in children in the US already, in just a few months. Every year we worry about influenza in children, and there are roughly around 100 deaths in children from influenza every year.”
He mentioned that various factors may have contributed to the recent surge in coronavirus infections in children in the past weeks, including increased testing, increased movement among children and a rise in infection among the general population.
The new AAP analysis made use of data provided by state health departments of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
The report indicated that there have been 179,990 new Covid-19 cases among US children between July 9 and August 6, with the total number of cases as of August 6 at least 380,174.
The data showed that currently, severe symptoms are still rare among children infected with Covid-19 and total hospitalizations were between 0.5% and 5.3%. In terms of deaths, children were just between 0% to 0.4% of all Covid-19 deaths.
In a news release, the AAP called for an effective testing strategy so that communities could make the right decisions in terms of school reopening.
AAP President Dr. Sally Goza said: “In areas with rapid community spread, it’s likely that more children will also be infected, and these data show that … It is up to us to make the difference, community by community.”
“To protect everyone in our communities — children, teens, and older adults — we must follow all the public health measures that we know can contain the virus. This includes physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings, washing our hands, and avoiding large gatherings,” O’Leary said.