The CDC said its findings seemed to support the previous one study in the case of children in China, who discovered that co-19, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus, may be less severe in children. CDC researchers warn, however, that the information is incomplete and that severe cases have been reported among several people younger than 18, including three deaths that are still under investigation.
“Although the majority of cases reported among children to date have not been severe,” the CDC report said, “doctors must maintain a high index of suspicion for Covid-19 infection in children and monitor disease progression, especially among infants and children with conditions. “
Manifestations of coronavirus that are not too severe in children have become an eternal mystery. Solve it can lead to big progress in understanding how and why viruses make and kill people in other age groups, scientists say.
The CDC study analyzed 149,082 cases reported to the CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, New York City and four US territories between February 12 and April 2. Of those, 2,752, or 1.7 percent, involved children under 18 years. while 113,985 involved adults aged 18 to 64 years. (Those over the age of 64 were not included in the analysis because the disease was more severe for people in that age group, the report said.) Babies account for 15 percent of children’s cases but are under-represented among cases in patients of all age.
CDC received its first report on a case involving a child on March 2. Since March 5, he said, cases of children have been reported every day. Among the 2,752 cases of children, the average age was 11. Nearly one third of the cases involved children aged 15 to 17 years; 27 percent of those aged 10 to 14 years; 15 percent of those aged 5 to 9 years; 11 percent are among those aged 1-4 years; and 15 percent of those under the age of 1 year.
Data on symptoms, underlying conditions and inpatient status are only available in a small proportion of cases, which means that the results “must be interpreted with caution,” the report warns.
In 291 pediatric cases for which data were available, 73 percent had fever, cough and shortness of breath. That number is significantly higher among the 10,944 adult cases for which data are available, which is 93 percent. Other symptoms, including muscle aches, sore throat, headache, nausea / vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, are more commonly reported in adults. A runny nose, meanwhile, is a little more common among children.
In 745 cases of children where inpatient status was available, 147 were hospitalized and 15 were treated in intensive care. That figure represents an inpatient rate of 5.7 to 20 percent and ICU admission rates of 0.58 to 2 percent. In comparison, the study said, 10 to 33 percent of infected adults were hospitalized and 1.4 to 4.5 percent were placed under intensive care.
“Three deaths were reported among pediatric cases included in this analysis; However, a review of these cases is ongoing to confirm covid-19 as a possible cause of death, “said the study.
He noted that the findings were “largely consistent” with reports from China, which found that 41.5 percent of 1,391 pediatric patients had fever, 48.5 percent coughed, and 1.8 percent were treated in the ICU.
A later study of 2,143 cases of children in China suggested that the infection might be more severe among babies. Released last month in the journal Pediatrics, found seven infants and two preschoolers between ages 1 and 5 whose conditions were considered critical. 33 infants and 34 other children aged between 1 and 5 years suffer from severe illness. The researchers wrote in this study that their findings showed that “small children, especially infants, are vulnerable.”
In its new report, the CDC found that infants consisted of 59 of 147 pediatric hospitalizations and five of 15 pediatric ICU hospitalizations, but noted that “the majority of US cases reported in infants have unknown inpatient status.”
“A more systematic and detailed collection of baseline data among pediatric patients will be very helpful in understanding which children are most at risk for severe covid-19 disease,” the report said.
Although the majority of cases reported among children have not been severe, the CDC stresses that those with mild symptoms or cases without symptoms may play a role in the spread of the virus, which has infected 362, 170 people and killed 10,752 in the United States on Monday.
Therefore, the report said, distance social and daily precautions continue to be “recommended for people of all ages.”
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