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Report: Children make up rising share of COVID-19 cases :

September 29, 2020

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Roughly 10% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are among children, up from 2.2% in April, according to a new report.

“These rising numbers concern us greatly, as the children’s cases reflect the increasing virus spread in our communities,” AAP President Sara “Sally” H. Goza, M.D., FAAP, said in a news release. “While children generally don’t get as sick with the coronavirus as adults, they are not immune and there is much to learn about how easily they can transmit it to others. We must keep our children — and each other — healthy by following the recommended safety measures like washing hands, wearing cloth face coverings and staying 6 feet apart from others.”

The findings come from data the AAP and Children’s Hospital Association collected from April 16 through Sept. 10 and published today in “National Trends of Cases of COVID-19 in Children Based on US State Health Department Data,” (Sisk B, et al. Pediatrics. Sept. 29, 2020,

There were 549,432 cumulative child COVID-19 cases as of Sept. 10, a rate of 729 cases per 100,000 children. While children make up 10% of the total cases in the U.S., they make up 22.6% of the country’s population.

About 1.7% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations and 0.07% of the deaths have been among children. About 0.01% of children with a known case of COVID-19 have died, according to the report.

Early in the pandemic, most pediatric cases were in the Northeast. However, data show surges in the South and West in June and in the Midwest in July, following patterns for the general population.

Authors noted some states differ in how they report data and the ages they include. They also said it was unclear how increased testing capacity may have impacted their data, although Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show the share of tests administered to children has been stable since late April.

“We will continue to closely monitor children’s cases, with hopes of seeing the upward trend turn around,” Dr. Goza said. “We encourage parents to call their pediatricians and get their children into the office for well visits and vaccinations, especially now that some schools are reopening and flu season has arrived.”


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