Alarming 90% rise in US kids cases over 4 weeks: Report

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BY NIKHILA NATARAJAN
New York, Aug 11 (IANS)
COVID-19 cases in US children have climbed an alarming 90 per cent in the last 30 days alone, according to new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association that has landed just ahead of the Fall school reopening season in the country.
The report says 179,990 new child cases were reported from July 9 to August 6, with total cases going up from 200,184 to 380,174. This represents a 90 per cent spike in four weeks.
Overall, the US is recording more than 500 child COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children, according to the same report. As of 2019, the total US child population was pegged at around 75 million.
The latest AAA report is a summary of state level data and states across the US do not have a standard age-group for defining the cohort of children. Broadly, the data covers people in the 0 – 19 age group with a couple of outlier states reporting till age 24.
At current infection levels, children from 9.1 per cent of total cases across all age groups in the US, says the report.
Of all children tested, 3.7-18.6 per cent of children tested positive. In states reporting, 0-0.5 per cent of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.
By August 6, at least seven states were reporting more than 15,000 cases in kids alone. Over the same time frame, half of all states were reporting 5,000 plus cases. Seven out of 10 new paediatric cases in the last month have come from states in the South and West, according to the latest figures.
Another data set, from COVKID Project, reports a total of 104 deaths in the 0-19 years age group across 27 US states. According to the AAA report, 90 kids have died until August 6 in 44 states and NYC.
This grim data dump comes at a time when reopening of schools has begun in several of America’s 50 states, with widely differing rules on social distancing and how to enforce public health guidance.
US President Donald Trump continues to insist that schools must reopen “to get the economy going” and that children do not transmit the virus easily. America’s top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said we simply don’t know enough to drop guard just yet on children’s safety. Summer camps, most recently in Georgia, and schools internationally, have had virus outbreaks.
America, the world’s wealthiest nation, leads the world in coronavirus cases and deaths. More than five million have been sickened here and more than 163,000 Americans are dead since the virus arrived on US shores in early January.

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