This week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shared an analysis according to which the younger children are less likely to get infected by Covid-19 while the teenagers are twice as likely to get infected by disease.
— MMWR (@CDCMMWR) September 28, 2020
This analysis was published just in time as school going children across the U.S have resumed their school education in the middle of mixed arguments of experts regarding the safety of children. CDC has reviewed the case studies of Covid-19 infected children whose ages ranged from 5 years to 17 years.
Studies done regarding the Covid-19 infection in children and their spread so far have been majorly inconclusive regarding the potential of children to get infected or to become carriers of the disease. Earlier studies were mainly focused on younger children. This analysis however focuses on children and teenagers going to colleges and high schools and the report concludes that teenagers are twice as likely to contract and spread the disease.
— Health Units (@healthunits) September 12, 2020
Children have at least as much coronavirus in their nose and throat as adults do, and kids younger than 5 may have up to 100 times as muchhttps://t.co/9cwFgS2JjL
— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) July 30, 2020
Experts are of the opinion that if more studies are focused on teenagers and young adults attending colleges and universities then conclusive evidence may be brought forward regarding chances of infection of this certain age group. The inconclusive data of Covid-19 in children may be due to lack of testing in children and also because most of the younger children do not develop life threatening symptoms.
This assumption is also supported in the CDC report as it notes that as the scale of testing was increased in U.S so did the number of children who contracted Covid-19. As the testing in children was increased to three-folds, the number of infections in children per 100,000 became twice. The experts attributed this rapid increase to the increase in testing and not because more children were getting infected.
Experts have also explained the lack of testing in younger children because children are less likely to develop symptoms therefore they are less likely to get tested for Covid-19. On the other hand, the adults develop symptoms more frequently therefore they are more likely to be tested and turn positive for the disease.
A new @CDCMMWR report found that 121 people under 21 years of age died of #COVID19 from February–July 2020. 3 out of 4 deaths occurred among Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native persons. Learn more: https://t.co/fCxlvca0BZ. pic.twitter.com/GY3DPiTpNw
— CDC (@CDCgov) September 15, 2020
Another reason for inconsistent data on infection frequency and development of symptoms in children is because of the fact that 5% of confirmed cases in children are asymptomatic and 37% percent cases are inconclusive regarding symptoms. If testing is targeting symptomatic kids only and asymptomatic cases are not tested then there are chances that the actual number of kids infected by Covid-19 can be higher than what is reported, CDC report suggests.
Half a million US children have been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.
The groups said more than 70,000 new child cases were reported from August 20 through September 3. https://t.co/zRRskIFXfV
— CNN (@CNN) September 9, 2020
The chances of getting infected are increased up to three times in the children from early teenage to nineteen years. This trend continues for the people in their twenties as this age bracket has the highest number of confirmed cases in U.S. Experts believe that the people in their twenties may be the prime suspects in spreading the disease in the community.
The report also highlights other factors such as underlying medical conditions. Children with at least one such condition were more likely to get really sick, hospitalized, admitted in Intensive care unit, or die from Covid-19. This trend is also true for almost any other flu where it is fatal in children in the cases when there is underlying medical condition. CDC report also rules out the assumption that an already sick child will not certainly die from Covid-19.
1. THE U.S. DID NOT SURPASS 200,000 COVID-19 DEATHS, as one chyron on a nightly news program states. According to the CDC itself, 94% of the coronavirus deaths had underlying health problems, 6% died of the virus alone.
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) September 23, 2020
Although data regarding ethnicity of kids was only recorded from only 161,387 cases, it was deduced that the infection was more likely to get worse in black and Hispanic ethnicity and such children were frequently in need to hospitalizations and admission in I.C.U.
— Healthy Hispanics (@HispanicHealthy) September 21, 2020
Black and Hispanic children in New Jersey and New York appear to be the most impacted by a rare inflammatory disease linked to the coronavirus, according to officials.https://t.co/VT9eNES4QO
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) June 1, 2020
This analysis by the CDC is widely praised by the experts because there was a need of a study of wider scope regarding Covid-19 infection in children and the studies already conducted were wide ranging and addressed different parameters than each other. The report published by CDC has tried to make sense of data from various sources and it has successfully derived meaningful conclusions.
In the end, the report has concluded that late teenagers are just as likely to get infected and spread the virus as the people in their twenties. Lack of systemic experimentation and data recording has caused misleading deductions regarding high school and college going children therefore experts have urged the government to make data collection from such educational institutes mandatory.