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Nearly 550,000 children in the US have tested positive for Covid-19

A boy receives a free Covid-19 test at a St. John’s Well Child and Family Center clinic outside of Walker Temple AME Church in Los Angeles on July 15. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Nearly 550,000 children in the US have been diagnosed with Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

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The groups found that 72,993 new child cases were reported from Aug. 27 through Sept. 10. This is a 15% increase in child cases over two weeks, bringing the total to at least 549,432 cases, the groups said in their weekly report on pediatric coronavirus cases.

Cases listed by age are provided by health department websites of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, but only a subset of states report hospitalizations and mortality by age.

From the data available from 24 states and New York City, children made up 0.6% to 3.6% of total reported hospitalizations, and between 0.3% and 8.2% of all child Covid-19 cases ended up in the hospital. From the 42 states that track mortality by age, children were 0% to 0.3% of deaths, and 18 states that reported on deaths by age had no deaths among children.

The AAP would like even more detailed reporting from states.

“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to Covid-19 is rare among children,” the report said. “However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on Covid-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age and race/ethnicity so that the effects of Covid-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored.”

Children represent nearly 10% of all reported cases in the US, according to the report. The child cases are likely underreported because the tally relies on state data that is inconsistently collected.

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