As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country and around the world, experts are seeing new and concerning trends of COVID-19 among children.
A new report released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found that the coronavirus is infecting a staggering number of children.
According to the data, the number of U.S. infants, children, and teens who have tested positive for COVID-19 has surpassed 1 million, which makes up for 11.5% of all cases in states reporting cases by age.
Last week saw the highest number of new cases in U.S. children with 112,000 in just seven days—the highest weekly total of the pandemic.
“This pandemic is taking a heavy toll on children, families & communities, as well as on physicians & other front-line medical teams,” AAP President Dr. Sally Goza wrote on Twitter. “We need a new, nation-wide strategy, & that should include implementing proven public health measures like mask wearing & physical distancing.”
According to data from several state health departments, at least 6,330 pediatric hospitalizations and 133 deaths have been recorded since May.
Although children are still more likely than adults to have mild cases, experts are concerned that a rise in cases among children could lead to a rise in cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) later.
MIS-C shares similar traits as Kawasaki disease, which typically affects children under 5 years old. Their common symptoms include: prolonged fever, a rash, conjunctivitis, swelling of the palms or soles of the feet, sometimes peeling of the skin in those areas and lymph node enlargement.
While early studies focusing on the syndrome find that mortality rates are low, doctors are still unsure of its long-term effects. Experts are warning parents to be on the lookout for these symptoms as we enter a dark winter, because early recognition is important for successful treatment and recovery.