WASHINGTON — More than 1 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with coronavirus, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday.
As of last Thursday, a total of 1,039,464 children, including teens and infants, have had COVID-19. The report is a collaborative effort between the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association and both organizations use state health department data to track children's cases nationwide.
In the one-week period ending Nov. 12th, there were 111,946 new cases in children, which is substantially larger than any previous week in the pandemic. However, pediatrics believe the total number of cases in children is higher because children's symptoms are often mild and they may not be tested.
“As a pediatrician who has practiced medicine for over three decades, I find this number staggering and tragic," said AAP President Sally Goza, MD, FAAP. "We haven’t seen a virus flash through our communities in this way since before we had vaccines for measles and polio."
The report broke down where child COVID-19 cases were on the rise geographically. Pediatrics are seeing a spike in cases in the Midwest and in Southern states. California, Florida, Georgie, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin have all reported more than 25,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
A smaller number of U.S. states reported on hospitalizations and mortality by age, but the available data showed that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death are uncommon in children. The AAP said the number of child coronavirus deaths has reached 133. That's merely 0.05% of the total number of U.S. deaths.
“Most natural disasters have an end, but this pandemic has gone on for over eight months, and is likely to continue to disrupt our lives for many more," Dr. Goza said. "We’re very concerned about how this will impact all children, including toddlers who are missing key educational opportunities, as well as adolescents who may be at higher risk for anxiety and depression.”
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The United States has nearly 11.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
As of Monday, the U.S. had more than 247,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 55 million confirmed cases with more than 1.3 million deaths.