DETROIT – As students in some states head back to in-person school, a recent series of reports show the number of COVID-19 cases in children and teens is climbing.
While most children will have mild forms of illness -- and hospitalizations and fatalities among children are still rare -- some will face serious health complications. Because we don’t have a specific treatment, the risk is simply in the numbers -- more infections mean more complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said young people -- ages 17 and under -- account for more than 7% of infections. The American Academy of Pediatrics found cases among children went up 21% between Aug. 6 and 20.
“This tells us that children do get this disease,” said Dr. Sally Goza, president of American Academy of Pediatrics. “The more we have community spread, the more children are going to get it.”
According to the CDC, there are now at least 694 known cases of the condition in 42 states.
Dr. Guliz Erdem has treated confirmed and suspected cases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
“They tend to have severe abdominal pain, unable to function and really intense fevers,” Erdem said. “They may have breathing problems, rashes, redness to the eyes.”
The rare and potentially deadly syndrome is triggered by exposure to COVID-19 and seems to disproportionately impact Black and Latino children.
While pediatric cases continue to increase, another new paper published in the Journal of Pediatrics has further identified that infected children have significantly higher levels of virus in their airways than even hospitalized adults with COVID-19.
We don’t know if that means if children are more infectious. The risk of contagion is higher with more virus, but there may be other factors at play as well.
View more: Michigan COVID-19 data