Coronavirus update: Infections are rising in children, CDC says
The number and rate of coronavirus cases in children have risen since the pandemic took hold in the spring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in recently updated guidance, underscoring the risk for young people and their families as the school year begins.
According to the CDC, the infection rate in children 17 and under increased “steadily” from March to July. While the virus is far more prevalent and severe among adults, the true incidence of infection in American children remains unknown because of a lack of widespread testing, the agency said.
School closures and other public health measures may have contributed to initially low rates of coronavirus infections in children early in the pandemic, according to the CDC.
“This may explain the low incidence in children compared with adults,” the agency said in its guidance. “Comparing trends in pediatric infections before and after the return to in-person school and other activities may provide additional understanding about infections in children.”
Children between 5 and 17 years old also test positive for the novel coronavirus at higher rates than any other age group, according to CDC data, with positivity rates exceeding 10 percent in public and private lab tests.
The virus incubation period is the same for children as it is for adults. Children are far less likely to develop severe symptoms, but when they are hospitalized for complications from the virus, about a third are sent to intensive care units, the same rate as adults, according to the CDC.