COVID-19 cases among children have risen 32% in 2 weeks

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Between Nov. 11 and Nov. 18, 141,905 COVID-19 cases were reported among children in the U.S., marking a 32 percent increase since the week ending Nov. 4., according to a Nov. 22 update from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Children accounted for about a quarter of weekly COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for the week ending Nov. 18 and about 17 percent of total accumulated cases since the start of the pandemic. 

Overall, the data indicates severe illness due to COVID-19 is uncommon among children, with 0.1 percent to 1.9 percent of child cases resulting in hospitalization throughout the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics update, which includes hospitalization data from 24 states and New York City. The latest update also found less than 1 percent of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death, based on mortality data from 45 states and New York City. 

"However, 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 update said. 

While the risk of severe COVID-19 illness among children remains low, health officials urge vaccination among those eligible to prevent potential long-term symptoms, hospitalization and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, a rare but serious condition linked to COVID-19. As of Nov. 1, more than 5,000 kids in the U.S. had developed MIS-C since 2020. 

The CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech shot is currently the only one authorized for use in children aged 5 to 17. 

 

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