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COVID cases among children rise 86%, pediatrics group says

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:04 PM EDT
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(Gray News) - There were 71,726 cases of COVID-19 reported in U.S. children in a week’s time, an increase of 86% over the seven days prior, the American Academy of Pediatrics said.

The “substantial” spike near the end of July happened just as many were preparing to start the school year. In its weekly report, the AAP said the number of kids infected has steadily increased during the month after declining in the early part of summer.

Children represented about 19% of overall virus cases from July 23-29.

There had been 38,654 cases from July 16-22, and a year-low number of about 8,500 only a month before, on the June 24 report.

The AAP said it appears at this time that severe illness in children from COVID is uncommon, but there is an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term impacts.

Children ranged from 1.3-3.5% of total pandemic hospitalizations among states reporting, the AAP stated. The locations reporting deaths by age said that 358 children had died during the pandemic as of July 29, about 0.07% of their overall totals.

Nearly 4.2 million U.S. children have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic started, about 14% of cases, the advocacy group said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the AAP recently recommended everyone wear face masks in schools amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, even those who are vaccinated. Many schools across the U.S. are not requiring masks, and several states including Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee have banned local officials from enacting mask mandates.

The AAP’s weekly report is based on numbers gathered from health department websites of 49 states, New York City, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. The group said it is working with the Children’s Hospital Association to collect and share publicly available data.

A smaller subset of states reported on hospitalizations and mortality by age.

According to its website, the AAP is made up of 67,000 pediatricians “committed to the optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.”

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