Children of Color are More at Risk of COVID-19

In a new study, scientists have found that Covid-19 cases are significantly higher among children of color and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The study was published today in the journal Pediatrics.

The study found that black children were three times more likely to be exposed to the coronavirus than white children, after observing 1000 patients at a Children’s National Covid-19 testing site in Washington D.C. The researchers at the hospital used test data taken between March 21 and April 28.

They also saw that that just 7.3% of White children tested positive for coronavirus, in contrast to 30% of Black children and 46.4% of Hispanic children. Among all the patients, nearly one third were Black and about a quarter were Hispanic.

Source: Statista

The data was collected from people under the age of 22 years and who had mild coronavirus symptoms, known exposure, high-risk status or required testing for work. Data regarding demographic and socioeconomic factors was collected for all patients.

Out of the total subjects that were tested, 207 were positive for coronavirus. About 9.7% of those in the highest income quartile were infected, while 37.7% in the lowest quartile tested positive.

The team also found that the inequities existed even after they took out factors like age, sex and median family income. These inequalities could be in part due to limited access to health care and resources, as well as bias and discrimination, but the scientists called for further research to understand the root cause.

The study had several limitations. The scientists found that these findings could underestimate the inequities in coronavirus rates, because a physician referral was needed for testing, and minority and lower socioeconomic populations have less access to primary care physicians.

Another limitation was that the study was only conducted in one center and the results may not be generalizable to other geographic locations.

Communities at Risk

Another report by a thinktank, found out that black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) in United Kingdom were more likely to be exposed to and under-protected from the coronavirus.

The thinktank called Runnymede Trust found that people from BAME families were more likely to be exposed because of factors like employment, public transport, and multigenerational and overcrowded households.

These communities are more likely to live in large, overcrowded family homes that can cause the virus to spread easily and decease the ability of people to shield themselves from the virus or self-isolate.

Source: BBC

BAME communities are also more likely to hold essential jobs like caregivers, healthcare professionals, and other frontline jobs like grocery store employees, bus drivers, etc.

According to the report these risk factors helped explain why certain groups had been disproportionately affected during the pandemic.

This is in line with a Public Health England report published in June found people from Bangladeshi backgrounds faced the greatest risk of death from coronavirus. The new report shows that people from these backgrounds are more likely to receive Covid-19 diagnosis, develop severe illness and suffer deaths.

These results were published after analysis of data from 2,585 adults in Britain, of which 750 were from BAME backgrounds. These findings suggest that one of the main reasons that cause ethnic minorities to be at a greater risk of death from Covid-19 than their white counterparts is that people from BAME backgrounds are more exposed to coronavirus.

Source: BBC

Out of all the respondents, 28% of BAME subjects defined themselves as essential workers, with the highest percentage among people of black African backgrounds (38%), compared with 23% of white British people surveyed.

It is also important to note that people of color, minority groups, and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to use public transportation, which can also increase exposure to the virus.

Among the people who responded, people of color were more likely to face additional risks at their jobs through not having adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Nearly 50 percent of people from Bangladeshi background reported feeling this way, which was the highest than any other category.

The study also found that these communities were less likely to receive important government public health messaging aimed at reducing the transmission of coronavirus, including key slogans such as Stay Home.

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