Infectious Disease

The incidence of COVID-19 in youngsters is consistent with traits in adults

January 14, 2021

2 min read

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The weekly percentages of positive COVID-19 tests in children and adolescents were in line with trends in adults, even in the months when schools were open for personal learning. This was shown by data published in the MMWR.

The researchers also reported that the incidence of COVID-19 was lower in younger children, “suggest[ing] that the risk for the introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in children in connection with the reopening of daycare centers and elementary schools could be lower than that for the reopening of high schools and colleges. “

Eve Leidman, MSPH, an epidemiologist with the CDC Emergency Response and Recovery Division, and colleagues evaluated the results of the SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests from May 31 to December 12 and stratified the results into five age groups – 0 to 4 years old; 5 to 10 years, 11 to 13 years, 14 to 17 years and 18 to 24 years.

From March 1 to December 12, the authors reported that there were more than 2.87 million laboratory-confirmed pediatric COVID-19 cases in 44 states, the District of Columbia, two territories, and one freely associated state.

The majority of these cases occurred in the oldest group (57.4%), followed by the 14-17 year olds (16.3%), the 5-10 year olds (10.9%), the 11- up to 13-year-olds (7.9%) and people aged 0 to 4 years (7.4%). Overall, 51.8% of positive tests occurred in women.

The authors reported that pediatric cases decreased between July and September and then increased by December, similar to adults. The highest weekly incidence in all age groups was 180 in the last week of the study period, the week of December 6 – 99.9 cases per 100,000 ages 0-4, 131.4 per 100,000 ages 5-10 , 6 per 100,000 for 11 to 13 year olds, 255.6 per 100,000 for 14 to 17 year olds, and 379.3 per 100,000 for 18 to 24 year olds, reported Leidman and colleagues.

Of all adolescents, 2.5% were hospitalized, 0.8% were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 654 (less than 0.1%) died. By comparison, 16.6% of adults were hospitalized, 8.6% were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 5% died. Among pediatric cases, the largest percentage of hospital admissions (4.6%) and intensive care admissions (1.8%) occurred in people aged 0-4 years.

The authors said, “In order for schools to work safely to enable face-to-face learning, communities should fully implement and strictly adhere to several mitigation strategies, particularly universal and proper masking, to address COVID-19 incidence both in the community and.” to reduce pupils, teachers and staff in the schools to be protected. “

“CDC recommends that K-12 schools be the last ones to close after all other mitigation measures have been applied and the first to reopen when it is safe to do so,” wrote Leidman and colleagues. “CDC provides tools that childcare programs, schools, colleges and universities, parents and caregivers can use to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19. This can help protect students, teachers and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. ”

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