More than 1 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to a report released Monday.
As of last Thursday, a total of 1,039,464 young people, including babies and teenagers, tested positive for coronavirus. The weekly report on pediatric cases is a collaboration between the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association and uses data from the state health department to track pediatric cases across the country.
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“As a pediatrician who has been practicing medicine for more than three decades, I find this number shocking and tragic,”
The new figures also reflect the largest one-week increase in pediatric Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. Nearly 112,000 children were diagnosed last week alone. Pediatricians believe that the true number of children infected with the virus is much higher, as the disease is often mild in children and can go undetected.
The geographical breakdown, illustrating the increase in cases among children, reflects that of adults. Pediatric cases are increasing in the Midwest. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have reported more than 25,000 cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
More than 25,000 pediatric cases have also been reported in the southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and the two Carolinas. Elsewhere in the country, only Arizona and California have reached this threshold.
Although severe complications are rare in children, they are possible. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 1,163 children in the United States have been diagnosed with a serious condition associated with Covid-19 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Twenty of these children died.
Overall, during the pandemic, the AAP said the number of child deaths from Covid-19 had reached 133. That’s a fraction – 0.06% – of the total number of deaths in the United States.
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The AAP also urges public health officials to study the long-term effects of the coronavirus on children’s lives, including the emotional and mental effects of the pandemic.
“From studies on the impact of natural disasters on children’s mental health, we know that prolonged exposure to this type of toxic stress is harmful,” Goza said.
“Most natural disasters have an end, but this pandemic has been going on for more than eight months and is likely to continue to disrupt our lives much more.”
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