No increase seen in children’s cumulative COVID-19 burden


The proportion of all COVID-19 cases occurring in children, which has been rising gradually throughout the pandemic, did not rise during the week ending Dec. 31, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Proportion of COVID-19 cases that occurred in children

Children’s share of the cumulative COVID-19 burden remained at 12.4% for a second consecutive week, the AAP and CHA said in their weekly report. The last full week of 2020 also marked the second consecutive drop in new cases, although that may be holiday related.

There were almost 128,000 new cases of COVID-19 reported in children for the week, down from 179,000 cases the week before (Dec. 24) and down from the pandemic high of 182,000 reported 2 weeks earlier (Dec.17), based on data from 49 state health departments (excluding New York), along with the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Children’s proportion of new cases for the week, 12.6%, is at its lowest point since early October after dropping for the second week in a row. The cumulative rate of COVID-19 infection, however, is now 2,828 cases per 100,000 children, up from 2,658 the previous week, the AAP and CHA said.

State-level metrics show that North Dakota has the highest cumulative rate at 7,851 per 100,000 children and Hawaii the lowest at 828. Wyoming’s cumulative proportion of child cases, 20.3%, is the highest in the country, while Florida, which uses an age range of 0-14 years for children, is the lowest at 7.1%. California’s total of 268,000 cases is almost double the number of second-place Illinois (138,000), the AAP/CHA data show.

Cumulative child deaths from COVID-19 are up to 179 in the jurisdictions reporting such data (43 states and New York City). That represents just 0.6% of all coronavirus-related deaths and has changed little over the last several months – never rising higher than 0.7% or dropping below 0.6% since early July, according to the report.

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