Pediatric COVID-19 cases surpass half-million
The AAP announced that a total of 513,415 pediatric cases of COVID-19 have been reported, according to an analysis of state-level data.
The report found 70,630 new pediatric cases from August 20 to September 3 — a 16% increase from the total case count of 442,785 that was reported on August 19.
“These numbers are a chilling reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously,” AAP President Sally Goza, MD, FAAP, said in a statement. “While much remains unknown about COVID-19, we do know that the spread among children reflects what is happening in the broader communities. A disproportionate number of cases are reported in Black and Hispanic children and in places where there is high poverty. We must work harder to address societal inequities that contribute to these disparities.”
As of September 3, the total number of pediatric COVID-19 cases represents 9.8% of all reported cases.
“This rapid rise in positive cases occurred over the summer, and as the weather cools, we know people will spend more time indoors,” Sean O’Leary, MD, MPH, FAAP, the vice chair of the AAP’s Committee on Infectious Diseases, said in the statement. “The goal is to get children back into schools for in-person learning, but in many communities, this is not possible as the virus spreads unchecked.”
As we enter influenza season, O’Leary said it is important for everyone to receive the influenza vaccination this year because it will help protect everyone.
“We must take this seriously and implement public health measures we know can help; that includes wearing masks, avoiding large crowds, and maintaining social distance,” O’Leary said.