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Coronavirus death in children reverberates in adults, says the CDC



A detailed look at the deaths of COVID-19 in children and young people in the United States shows that they reflect patterns seen in older patients.

The report, released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined 121 coronavirus-related deaths between February 12 and July 31 in people under 21.

Like older Americans, many had at least one medical condition before being infected, such as lung problems such as asthma, obesity, heart problems, or developmental conditions.

Like older adults, deaths among younger people are also more common for people of certain racial and ethnic groups. The CDC found that among 1

21 victims, 54 were Latinos, 35 were black and 17 were white.

“It’s really striking,” said Dr. Andrew Pavia, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Utah who is not involved in the CDC study. “It’s similar to what we see in adults,” and can reflect many things, including that many important workers who have to go to work are blacks and Latinos, he said.

The total number of young deaths was relatively small, representing about 0.08% of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States reported to the CDC during the study period. Children and adults in college make up 26% of the US population.

Fifteen deaths are related to a rare condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which can cause swelling and heart problems.

The report also found that nearly two-thirds of deaths were from men and that mortality increased with age. There are 71 deaths among children under the age of 17, including a dozen newborns. The remaining 50 deaths were in adults between the ages of 18 and 20.

Scientists are still trying to understand why serious illnesses seem to become more common with age. One theory is that young children have fewer ACE2 receptors on the surfaces of their airways to which the coronavirus can attach, Pavia said. Another is that children may be less prone to a dangerous overreaction by the immune system to the coronavirus, he said.

So far this year, the COVID-19 charge for children is lower than the number of childhood flu deaths reported to the CDC during a typical flu season, which is about 130 in recent years. But comparing the two is difficult for a number of reasons, including the fact that most schools did not open in the spring due to the pandemic.




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