CDC releases report on coronavirus in children

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In a preliminary report of pediatric novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found relatively few children with the virus are hospitalized, and fewer children than adults experience symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Previous data from China suggest that pediatric COVID-19 cases might be less severe than adult cases, and that children might experience different symptoms than adults. However, disease characteristics among pediatric patients in the United States have not been described.

According to data collected from more than 149,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. between February 12 and April 2, 1.7 percent were among children less than 18 years old. Though symptom data were only available for 9.4 percent of cases, among those with available information, 73 percent of pediatric patients had symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath compared with 93 percent of adults ages 18 to 64 years old during the same period.

Additionally, 5.7 percent of pediatric patients were hospitalized compared to 10 percent of adults. Three deaths were reported among the pediatric cases included in the analysis.

The findings, released yesterday by the agency, note that because pediatric COVID-19 patients may not exhibit symptoms, social distancing and preventative measures remain important for all age groups, as those with less serious illness and those without symptoms can play a role in disease transmission.  

Editor’s note: Click here for more information and ongoing COVID-19 updates for integrative healthcare professionals.