Teens Are Rarely Hospitalized With Covid, but Cases Can Be Severe

Since the beginning of the pandemic, only a few adolescents have grow to be unwell sufficient with Covid-19 to be hospitalized. But of those that did, about one-third were admitted to intensive care units, and 5 % required ventilators, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday.

These findings underscore the significance of vaccinating kids in opposition to the coronavirus, consultants mentioned. “Much of this suffering can be prevented,” Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the C.D.C. director, mentioned in an announcement. “Vaccination is our way out of this pandemic.”

The information additionally run counter to claims that influenza is extra threatening to kids than Covid-19, an argument that has been used to reopen colleges and to query the worth of coronavirus vaccines for kids.

The variety of hospitalizations associated to Covid-19 amongst adolescents within the United States was about 3 times as excessive as hospitalizations linked to influenza over three current flu seasons, the examine discovered.

“There’s a very strong case to be made for preventing a disease that causes hospitalizations and deaths, not to mention contributing to community transmission,” mentioned Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the committee on infectious illnesses on the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Children have a a lot decrease probability general of turning into severely unwell or dying from Covid-19, in contrast with adults, but the dangers are thought to extend with age. According to the newest data collected by the academy, almost 4 million kids have examined optimistic for the coronavirus because the pandemic started, in contrast with about 30 million circumstances amongst adults.

Still, about 16,500 kids have been hospitalized for Covid-19 because the pandemic started, and at the least 322 have died, making it one of many main causes of demise amongst kids, Dr. Maldonado famous.

“It sounds like it’s not a lot of deaths,” particularly in contrast with 600,000 lifeless within the United States, she mentioned. But “it should still be horrifying that 300 to 600 kids are dying because of something that is preventable.”

The new C.D.C. report centered on hospitalizations from Covid-19 amongst kids ages 12 to 17. The price of hospitalizations in that group was 12.5 occasions decrease than amongst adults. But the speed was increased than that seen in kids ages 5 to 11, the report discovered.

The researchers additionally tallied Covid-19 hospitalizations amongst kids ages 12 to 17 from March 1, 2020, to April 24, 2021. The information got here from Covid-Net, a population-based surveillance system in 14 states, protecting about 10 % of Americans.

The variety of adolescents hospitalized with Covid-19 declined in January and February of this yr, but rose once more in March and April. From Jan. 1, 2021, to March 31, 204 adolescents have been doubtless hospitalized primarily for Covid-19. Most of the kids had at the least one underlying medical situation, similar to weight problems, bronchial asthma or a neurological dysfunction.

The price could have elevated this spring due to the extra contagious variants of the coronavirus in circulation, in addition to college reopenings that introduced kids collectively indoors, and looser adherence to precautions like sporting masks and social distancing, the researchers mentioned.

None of the kids died, but about one-third have been admitted to the intensive care unit, and 5 % required invasive mechanical air flow. Roughly two-thirds of the hospitalized adolescents have been Black or Hispanic, reflecting the better danger posed by the virus to those populations.

The researchers in contrast the numbers for Covid-19 with hospitalizations for flu in the identical age group throughout the 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 flu seasons. From Oct. 1, 2020, to April 24, 2021, hospitalization charges for Covid-19 amongst adolescents have been 2.5 to three occasions the speed for seasonal flu in earlier years.

The information lend urgency to the drive to get extra youngsters vaccinated, mentioned Dr. Walensky, who added that she was “deeply concerned” by the numbers.

The Food and Drug Administration accredited the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15 on May 12. The vaccine was accredited for anybody older in December.

Of the 24 million kids ages 12 to 17 within the United States, about 6.Four million have acquired at least one dose of the vaccine, and solely 2.three million are absolutely vaccinated.

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