Health officials share there has been “a substantial increase” in the number of children who have recently tested positive for COVID-19.
"As of July 29, nearly 4.2 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Almost 72,000 cases were added the past week, a substantial increase from the prior week when about 39,000 cases were reported. After declining in early summer, child cases have steadily increased in July," they wrote in a statement.
While this is by no means welcome news, the report also shared the important fact that "hospitalization and death [related to COVID] is uncommon in children."
Health officials say at least 4.2 million American kids have contracted the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, but thankfully, only 0.1 percent to 1.9 percent of all cases in minors have involved hospitalization. The report notes severe virus symptoms, like difficulty breathing and fatigue, also rare in young people. Mortality rates in children and teens are also low with minors accounting for 0.03 percent of people who have died as a result of the virus.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association are urging for further data and a study of the possible effects of any long-term harm the virus and the pandemic might be causing young people, stating, "There is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects."
The Doctors stress the best defense against COVID is getting vaccinated. If your child is eligible (or if there are any adults in the home who have not been vaccinated yet) find out where to get a free COVID-19 vaccine, here or search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you in the U.S.
To minimize your child's COVID risk consider taking these prevention steps:
- Wear a mask while indoors when interacting with the public
- Limit indoor activities with people outside of your household and those who are not vaccinated and opt for outdoor activities when possible, including dining outside
- Limit your exposure to large groups, anyone who is not vaccinated, people with COVID symptoms, and those who may have been exposed to someone with the virus
- Continue to wash and sanitize hands