At the start of the pandemic, children accounted for 2% of new COVID infections. Currently, they account for 24%. what happened?

Children are increasing the proportion of new coronavirus cases per week because the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine reduces overall infection, but children’s infection and hospitalization rates are stable.

In March 2020, children accounted for only about 2% of new infectious diseases. By the end of May, children accounted for only 16% of the population, but each week caused more than 24% of new infectious diseases. According to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Health experts say it is a sign that more adults and adolescents need to be vaccinated to take the virus home and avoid spreading it to children who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. I will.

“The virus is an equal opportunity infectious person. Dr. Robert Frenck, professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and director of the Vaccine Research Center, presented data at the Johns Hopkins University Washington University Symposium, said Wednesday. Was called “Covid-19 and Children: Effects, Uncertainties, and the Role of Vaccines.”

In the United States, more than 4 million children are COVID-19 positive, 18,500 were hospitalized and 336 died from the disease. According to AAP. Approximately 4,000 children are hospitalized with pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C. This is rare, but a dangerous situation where the CDC is associated with COVID-19.

Nearly 55% of Americans have been vaccinated at least once as of Friday, but health experts say vaccination rates are not uniform across the United States, leaving room for outbreaks and childhood infections. Is called.

“There are some places where the vaccination rate is as low as 20%,” Frenck said. “It’s not” if “but” when. ” (Outbreaks) will occur, but unfortunately people will be surprised. That’s what we’ve been trying to tell people. “

Texas Children’s Hospital reported on Wednesday some of the first pediatric infectious diseases in the United States. All of these occur in children under the age of 12.

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It’s too early to determine if the delta mutant causes more serious illness in children, but experts say the mutant appears to cause more symptomatological infections than the original virus. I will.

“Based on all the data accumulated so far, we expect a faster transmission of this virus from adults and adolescents to children because it is the most contagious variant to date,” said the pathologist. Dr. James Versalovich said. Chief and Interim Pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Meanwhile, scientists are doubling their efforts to complete clinical trials, allowing the Food and Drug Administration to approve vaccines for infants as soon as possible.

Children’s hospitals are working closely with vaccine developers such as Pfizer and Modana to combine Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials to accelerate the process during the summer and submit data by early fall.

“We would like to obtain an emergency use authorization for these COVID vaccines for children under the age of 12 early next year, from early to mid-autumn,” Versalovic said. “It remains a top priority and is becoming more urgent due to the rapid spread of delta variants.”

Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.

Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY was partially made possible by grants from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition for Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.

This article was originally published in USA TODAY: COVID: Children occupy an increasing share of new weekly cases. What you need to know.

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