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The number of children in the US who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus floored me

Published Sep 9th, 2020 12:21PM EDT
Coronavirus update
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  • The American Academy of Pediatrics has provided a coronavirus update showing how many children have been diagnosed in the US with COVID-19 so far during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • That number of infected children now stands at 513,415.
  • While children seem to be spared the worst outcomes associated with the COVID-19 virus, they can still spread it to people like vulnerable family members.

Every daily coronavirus update we get is a reminder that we’re still living in a pandemic, that our normal lives have been put on pause, and that we’re still paying a terrible price as a result of the COVID-19 virus that’s resulted in more than 6.3 million confirmed infections thus far in the US. That’s according to the latest data we have from Johns Hopkins University.

Whenever we talk about metrics like that, including the fact that more than 189,000 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus have been reported in the US, as awful as that is it still doesn’t even convey the full breadth of the pandemic’s impact. For example, the financial toll of the virus is probably incalculable, including as it does everything from the tens of millions of newly unemployed workers in the US to the lost business from risk-averse consumers too afraid to do things like get on a plane, go see a movie, or eat inside a restaurant. Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just released yet another data point conveying the scope of the pandemic so far — according to a new report from the group, more than half a million children in the US have been diagnosed with the coronavirus thus far.

Though children have represented only 9.8% of all cases in states reporting cases by age, according to the new report, 513,415 total child COVID-19 cases have nevertheless been reported. In a statement about the report, academy president Dr. Sara Goza said that “these numbers are a chilling reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously.”

The report is a product of collaboration between the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, and it was generated by data collected from states. Other key data points from the report include the following:

  • Children made up between 4%-14.3% of total state tests, and between 3%-17.3% of children tested were tested positive
  • Children were 0.7%-3.7% of total reported hospitalizations, and between 0.3%-8.3% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization
  • Children were 0%-0.3% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 18 states reported zero child deaths

Some other interesting numbers to note — according to this report, which you can read in full here, nine states reported more than 15,000 cases of children with the coronavirus, while half of states reported more than 7,000 cases and six states reported fewer than 1,000 cases.

The more than 513,000 total cases of children with the virus represents almost 10% of the more than 6 million cases reported so far in the US.

Among the things we know about how children are affected by the virus — it’s rare that we see the worst outcomes of COVID-19 in children, but they can nevertheless still spread the virus to other people, including to family members vulnerable to bad COVID-19 outcomes.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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