CDC: Coronavirus Seldom Kills Children but Minorities at Higher Risk

 In COVID-19, FVEY, P5

Children in gen­er­al aren’t likely to die from the novel coronavirus, but the mor­tal­i­ty risk is still rel­a­tive­ly high for chil­dren and teens from minor­i­ty groups, according to a new report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the 190,000 con­firmed coro­n­avirus-relat­ed deaths in the United States, only 121, or 0.08 per­cent, were report­ed in those under twenty-one. The most updat­ed CDC report has revealed that rough­ly 380 chil­dren, teenagers, and young adults aged up to twenty-four have died from the virus.

The researchers noted that among the 6.5 mil­lion coro­n­avirus cases in the coun­try, 391,814 infec­tions were iden­ti­fied to be individuals under twenty-one. Although those under twenty-one make up 26 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, they’re respon­si­ble for only 8 per­cent of all report­ed cases.

Ethnic and racial minority groups were found to be dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly affect­ed. Forty-four per­cent of the 121 who have died from the virus were Hispanic, 29 per­cent were Black, 4 per­cent were American Indian/Alaska Natives, and 4 per­cent were Asian-American or Pacific Islander.

These groups rep­re­sent 41 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion under age twenty-one, but they account for about 75 per­cent of all fatal­i­ties in that age range. White chil­dren made up 14 per­cent of the deaths.

“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,” the researchers wrote.

About 75 per­cent of the deaths were dis­cov­ered to be in chil­dren who had at least one under­ly­ing health condition, and 45 per­cent of them had two or more. The most fre­quent­ly report­ed health con­di­tions were chron­ic lung dis­ease, obesity, and cardiovascular, neu­ro­log­i­cal, and devel­op­men­tal con­di­tions.

“Although infants, chil­dren, and ado­les­cents are more likely to have milder COVID-19 ill­ness than are adults, com­pli­ca­tions, includ­ing MIS‑C and res­pi­ra­to­ry fail­ure, do occur in these pop­u­la­tions. Persons infect­ed with or exposed to SARS-CoV‑2 should be fol­lowed close­ly so that clin­i­cal dete­ri­o­ra­tion can be detect­ed early,” the researchers wrote.

MIS‑C, or mul­ti­sys­tem inflam­ma­to­ry syn­drome in chil­dren, is a con­di­tion in which dif­fer­ent body parts can become inflamed, includ­ing the heart, lungs, kid­neys, brain, skin, eyes, and gas­troin­testi­nal organs, according to the CDC.

Recently released data has revealed that more than 500,000 children in the United States have already tested pos­i­tive for the novel coro­n­avirus since the pan­dem­ic start­ed, accord­ing to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

That number seems to be trend­ing upward, as 70,630 new child cases were reg­is­tered from August 20 through September 3 — a 16-per­cent increase over the span of two weeks.

Now more than eight months into the pan­dem­ic, there are rough­ly thirty mil­lion con­firmed cases of coro­n­avirus world­wide, includ­ing at least 943,000 relat­ed deaths, accord­ing to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or con­tact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters.

National Interest source|articles

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