Most cases of coronavirus in children are mild but severe cases have been reported, CDC says


NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 03: A mother and daughter walk through a neighborhood in the Queens borough, which has one of the highest infection rates of coronavirus in the nation, on April 03, 2020 in New York City. Hospitals in New York City, the nation’s current epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, are facing shortages of beds, ventilators and protective equipment for medical staff. Currently, over 100, 000 New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Children diagnosed with coronavirus in the United States typically have mild cases, the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention said in a report released Monday.

However, some severe cases in children are being reported and three children have died, the analysis said.

Cases in children make up less than 2% of reported cases in the US, according to the research published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report analyzed 149,760 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the US occurring between February 12 and April 2.

Of the 149,082 cases in which an age was reported only 2,572, or 1.7%, were children younger than 18 years old, the report said.

“Whereas most Covid-19 cases in children are not severe, serious Covid-19 illness resulting in hospitalization still occurs in this age group,” the report said. “Social distancing and everyday preventative behaviors remain important for all age groups as patients with less serious illness and those without symptoms likely play an important role in disease transmission.”

Symptoms such as cough and fever were not reported as often in the pediatric cases as in adults, the report said. Among children, 73% reported symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, while 93% of adults aged 18 to 64 reported experiencing those more severe symptoms.

Children also seem to have a lower rate of hospitalizations for the virus, according to the report.

Hospitalization status for those under the age of 18 was available for 29% of cases and for 31% of cases in adults aged 18-64.

For those who had their hospitalization reported, 20% of children were hospitalized while 33% of 18 to 64-year-old adults were hospitalized, the report said.

Of the 345 pediatric cases that were reported with information on underlying conditions, 80 reported having at least one underlying condition such as chronic lung disease and cardiovascular disease.

Among the 295 pediatric cases that included information on both hospitalization status and underlying medical conditions, 28 of 37 children that were hospitalized — including all six children who were admitted to an intensive care unit — had an underlying medical condition, the report said.

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