What is the reason that children now account for 22% of new cases in the United States?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of children infected with the new coronavirus in the United States is far below the record set at the beginning of the new year, but children now account for more than one fifth of new coronavirus cases in the states where data are published by age

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This is a statistic that may surprise many people

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Just a year ago, novel coronavirus cases in children accounted for only about 3% of the total number in the United States

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On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics said children accounted for 22.4 percent of new cases reported in the past week, 71649 out of 319601

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The latest report, from data collected before April 29, shows how the proportion of children infected with coronavirus has risen in recent weeks

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Experts have linked the trend to several factors, especially the high vaccination rate among the elderly in the United States

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The United States recently announced that 100 million people have been fully vaccinated

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But other factors are also at work, from novel coronavirus variants to relaxing restrictions on school activities

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It is also worth noting that, as pointed out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the age group with the highest case rate in the United States during the vast majority of the pandemic was 18 to 24 years old

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To understand the reasons behind the rise in the proportion of cases in children, NPR interviewed Sean O’Leary, vice chairman of the infectious diseases Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics

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O’Leary is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of medicine and Colorado children’s hospital

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Are you surprised at the number of children we see now? I think a few things are happening

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One, of course, is a new variety in circulation

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This b.1.1.7 variant has really become the dominant one in many parts of the country, and its dissemination is higher

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I don’t think it’s certain that it’s going to get worse

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It is not clear whether it is more contagious in children

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But at this point, it seems to spread more easily to everyone, including children

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Of course, vaccination has played a role in changing the demographics of infected people

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In many parts of the United States, based on how states track data – 60 and over, 65 and over, 70 and over – in some places, a very high proportion of these people have been vaccinated

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We have seen a sharp decline in the proportion of cases that occur in these individuals, which is good news

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However, with simple mathematical calculations, this will change the proportion of cases occurring in other demographics

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In terms of the original figures, the most severe period of coronavirus infection in children was in the 13 weeks from early November to February

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As the U.S

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pulled out of the wave at the end of the year, those numbers fell

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But since the middle of March, the decline of coronavirus cases in children has not been as fast as that in adults

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We see more outbreaks than ever in relation to schools and school activities

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I think this is also due to the combination of various factors

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Again, variants, but in the past few months, more children have gone to school to attend face-to-face classes

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Because of the mitigation measures taken by schools, it seems that the transmission rate is still much lower than that of the surrounding communities

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But when you have a surge in the surrounding community, you will inevitably see it in school

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Another thing we see is more outbreaks in school related activities, especially sports, especially indoor sports

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Recent data show that children account for about 20% of new cases in the past week

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What do you think? We can still see the spread of the virus as the elderly are vaccinated

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As a result, children who are not yet eligible for vaccination will have a larger share

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Now, the good news is that in the next few weeks, we may approve vaccinations up to the age of 12

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We don’t have any official date yet, but it may be soon

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Pfizer submitted their data to the food and Drug Administration last month

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So it could be a huge game changer, because we always know that teenagers are more likely to be infected and spread than young children

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So vaccinating these people will also change in these dynamics

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And I think it’s going to have a big impact on many families’ summer plans

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We should note that in the worst case, children still make up a very small proportion

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But it’s a bit of a subtle conversation

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In Michigan, they report higher rates of hospitalized children than before

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I don’t know if it just represents a strong spread and an actual increase in severity

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This is not entirely clear at the moment

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In Colorado, we’re seeing an increase in cases

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In fact, in most states, cases are decreasing

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We’re still in a plateau state, maybe a little bit more in Colorado

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In children’s hospitals, we see a slight increase in the number of children hospitalized for the novel coronavirus, but this is not obvious, as we saw in November, December or January

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Children’s condition is lighter than that of adults, especially the elderly

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But it’s also wrong to say that it’s totally benign in children

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Fortunately, child death is a rather rare event

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So far, about 300 to 600 children have died from the novel coronavirus

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This may be an underestimation

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This will put it between sixth and ninth in the top 10 causes of child death

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So what I want to say is that we really need to vaccinate children, not only for protection, not just for mass immunization, but also for the protection of children themselves

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So do children show symptoms months after the infection? We see this in children, but it doesn’t seem to be as common as adults

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We are now taking care of some children who still have symptoms more than a month after the infection

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I think that even though we know little about the long-term novel coronavirus for adults, we know even less about children

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We know less about the general epidemiology of the disease in children

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Around this phenomenon, another question mark in my mind is that many viruses can cause some long-term symptoms

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A typical example is mononucleosis

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Some children’s fatigue and symptoms can last six to 12 months, or even longer

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So what I don’t know at the moment is whether the long-term symptoms of the novel coronavirus are more frequent than some of the other viruses we’ve seen

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How difficult is it to get data on children and novel coronaviruss? I know that in the weekly report, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the children’s Hospital Association compile data for 49 states, as well as New York City, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and Guam

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Texas, on the other hand, reported only a small number of cases in its lower age group

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Standardized data on novel coronavirus cases in each state has been difficult to obtain

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From the early days, it seems that the Centers for Disease Control and prevention and other federal agencies have not fully standardized different data

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This has been a depressing issue throughout the pandemic

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Frankly, although I have worked in this field for a long time, for me, the American Academy of pediatrics is the best source of pediatric data during the American pandemic

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In this pandemic, the CDC has really done a hard job

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But they had to deal with the problems associated with the pandemic, and the adult crisis came one after another, and they didn’t have the ability to track children at that time, because we knew that children were not seriously affected

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What else should people know about children and the new pandemic? We’ve been answering these questions about children and infection for nearly a year.

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