Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the nation’s first report on how the coronavirus impacts children in the US. What they’ve learned thus far is that COVID-19 is usually less severe in pediatric cases, but can require hospitalization. In contrast to the 1 in 3 adults who require hospitalization, stats for children are 1 in 5. Exact numbers, per the CDC, show about 5.7% of the children, or the 20% of those for whom hospitalization status was known, were hospitalized.
CDC Coronavirus Children Report
As with adults, 73% of children can experience the global symptoms of coronavirus, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. However, the report states, “Pediatric COVID-19 patients might not have fever or cough.” Other symptoms reported in pediatric patients included myalgia (body aches), sore throat, headache, and diarrhea. The CDC continued, “…disease characteristics among pediatric patients in the United States have not been described.”
Findings by the CDC show that more serious cases in children occur in infants. There are gender differences, as well, with boys appearing to test positive for COVID-19 more commonly than girls. Underlying conditions can be factors for pediatric patients, as well, including chronic lung disease and asthma, cardiovascular disease and immunosuppression.
An age breakdown of cases found: “Among all 2,572 COVID-19 cases in children aged <18 years, the median age was 11 years (range 0–17 years). Nearly one-third of reported pediatric cases (813; 32%) occurred in children aged 15–17 years, followed by those in children aged 10–14 years (682; 27%). Among younger children, 398 (15%) occurred in children aged <1 year, 291 (11%) in children aged 1–4 years, and 388 (15%) in children aged 5–9 years.”
The CDC’s report focused on 149,760 laboratory-confirmed US COVID-19 cases in adults and children from February 12 through April 2. The cases examined were from confirmed cases in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia and four US territories.
News agencies CNN and CNBC have reported that 2,572 of the cases were of children younger than 18. Most kids didn’t become severely ill, but three youngsters did die.
The CDC has said the report is preliminary, with ever-evolving information coming to the fore. Its advice to parents: Continue social distancing, even if you, your child or other family members appear asymptomatic.