Coronavirus Rarely Kills Children According to A New CDC Report

In new finding, the scientists have found that though coronavirus rarely kills kids, it still affects children and teens from minority groups disproportionately as seen in adult population. These findings were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report found that youngsters and children from ethnic and racial minorities, with underlying health conditions and between the ages of 18 and 20 are more likely to die from coronavirus.

The primary finding of the study was that children and young adults are least likely to die from coronavirus, amongst any age group. Among the 190,000 deaths in the United States, only 0.08% were reported in those under 21. This means that only 121 people under the age of 21 died due to coronavirus till the study was conducted. In an updated report, the CDC shows 377 children, teens and young adults aged up to 24 have died from coronavirus.

The data for the study came from 47 states out of 50, who responded to the CDC call to report deaths in people under the age of 21. These included, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands. The deaths were reported between the period February 12 and July 31.

In United States, the coronavirus affected approximately 6.5 million people of which a total of 391,814 cases of Covid-19 were in those under 21. While people under 21 make up 26% of the US population, they make up only 8% of all reported cases.

The study also showed that African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indian/Alaska Natives were all disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Of all the children that died, 44 percent were Hispanic, 29% were Black, 4% were American Indian/Alaska Natives and 4% were Asian or Pacific Islander.

While these groups represent 41% of the US population under the age of 21, they accounted for approximately 75% of deaths in that age range. Only 14 percent of the deaths were in white children; a group which represents 59 percent of the population.

The study explained, “Infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, particularly those from racial and ethnic minority groups at higher risk, those with underlying medical conditions, and their caregivers, need clear, consistent, and developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate COVID-19 prevention messages.”

Another important finding suggested that children suffering from underlying health condition were more likely to develop an infection. Of all the 121 deaths, 75% had at least one underlying health condition and 45% had two or more. Only 25 percent children were completely healthy. The most frequently reported medical conditions were chronic lung disease, including asthma; obesity; neurologic and developmental conditions and cardiovascular conditions.

Age also played an important role in coronavirus infection rates. Younger children fared better than adolescents and young adults. Only 10% of the deaths were in infants younger than 1 year old, 9% were in children between 1 and 4, 11% in the 5-9 range and 10% in the 10-13 range. On the other hand, 20% of the deaths were in teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 and more than 40% were in 18 to 20 year-olds.

This is inline with previous CDC research that showed that children between the ages of 0 and 4, were four times less likely to be hospitalized and nine times less likely to die than 18 to 29-year-olds, and 5 to 17-year-olds are nine times less likely to be hospitalized and 16 times less likely to die than 18 to 29-year-olds.

As with the adult population, boys suffered from more adverse outcomes than the girls. Boys accounted for 63% of the deaths compared with 37% for girls.

Though this new data, does suggest that children are less likely to suffer from adverse outcomes, it has been shown that they can still transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others.

In a study published just the previous week, it was shown that even asymptomatic children could transmit the virus to other adults. Another, South Korean study showed that out of 91 coronavirus infected children, 22 percent were asymptomatic. This means that a large majority of children can go unnoticed with an infection and transmit the virus to others.

The CDC researchers of the current study said it is important to keep a close eye on children infected with Covid-19.

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