A Spike In Coronavirus In Children Has Doctors Concerned: New guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the number and rate of coronavirus cases in children in the U.S. had been “steadily increasing” between March and July.
The data released Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, said the surge in cases comes as schools across the country struggle with returning to in-person learning.
A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics noted a 90% increase in pediatric cases from Thursday, July 9 to Thursday, Aug. 6. During the last two weeks of July alone, more than 97,000 children tested positive.
The CDC said that tracking coronavirus cases in children has been difficult due to a lack of widespread testing and the prioritization of testing for adults.
According to the AAP, there were more than 7,000 cases of COVID-19 in Michigan children.
Sara Franzen, a pediatrician at Ascension Borgess Allegan Hospital, said the majority of her patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are asymptomatic.
“We are still learning a lot about COVID every single day,” Franzen said. “But when kids do get the virus, sometimes they are asymptomatic and when they do have symptoms, they tend to be milder. However, that’s not saying kids can’t have a serious case.”
The CDC said that at least 16% of children with the coronavirus are asymptomatic. However, the CDC also cautioned that evidence suggests as many as 45% of these cases are asymptomatic.
Symptoms are also similar, including fever, fatigue, cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, among other things, – Sara Franzen, a pediatrician at Ascension Borgess Allegan Hospital, said.
According to the CDC, the rate of hospitalizations in children was also increasing. One-third of hospitalized children are admitted to intensive care — the same rate as adults.
“There is a risk to kids themselves, but it’s also important to think about who else is in the family like older members,” Franzen said.
“The main thing we recommend to keep children safe is the same thing we recommend for everyone: Maintain social distancing, keep kids 6 feet apart, and wear a face mask or covering.”
According to the CDC, the incubation period for COVID-19 appeared to be about the same for children as in adults, at two to 14 days with an average of six days.
Signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in children include:
- Nasal congestion or rhinorrhea
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Poor appetite or poor feeding