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90% Increase of Covid-19 Cases among Children; Measures to Reduce the Risks

Measures to Reduce the coronavirus Risks in Children

Nowadays parents are more worried about their children about the infection of coronavirus pandemic.The reason underlies behind this worries is a  90% increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among children across the US in just the last four weeks, according to data released this week by the AAP.

The AAP called for an effective testing strategy so that communities can make the right choice about opening schools

At least 97,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus during the last two weeks of July, according to a new review of state-level data by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association. The increase represents a 40% surge in the nation's cumulative total of child cases.

"I think it's showing that, yes, kids can get infected and can spread the infection," said Dr. Sean O'Leary, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital Colorado and vice chair of the Committee on Infectious Diseases for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The report comes as schools across the country grapple with when and how to reopen safely — with those decisions becoming increasingly politicized. President Trump has attempted to pressure the nation's K-12 schools to reopen, threatening to withhold federal funds and falsely claiming in an interview last week on Fox & Friends that "children are almost, I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease."

In Florida, where most public schools haven't opened yet, seven children have died, three in just the last month. Hospitalizations due to Covid-19 among children in Florida rose by 105% during the same four week time frame, from 213 to 436. 

Why this Increase in the Children cases

Dr. Sean O'Leary, vice-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, said that multiple factors have led to a recent increase in the number of coronavirus infections in children in the past couple of weeks, including increased testing, increased movement among children and a rise in infection among the general population.

"Coronavirus cases in children should be taken seriously.It's not fair to say that this virus is completely benign in children," said O'Leary. "We've had 90 deaths in children in the US already, in just a few months. Every year we worry about influenza in children, and there are roughly around 100 deaths in children from influenza every year."

Which Age Groups are More Vulnerable

The data describe clinical manifestations of COVID-19 that are generally milder in children compared with adults, but also show that some children do require hospitalization and intensive care.

While some US leaders -- including President Trump -- have said the virus doesn't pose a large risk to children, one recent study suggests older children can transmit the virus just as much as adults. Another study said children younger than 5 carry a higher viral load than adults, raising even more questions about their role in transmission.

There were 179,990 new Covid-19 cases among US children between July 9 and August 6, according to the report. At least 380,174 total child Covid-19 cases have been reported as of August 6.

As of now, it still appears that severe symptoms are rare among children with Covid-19 infections. Children were between 0.5% and 5.3% of total hospitalizations, according to data from the states that record that information. Children were 0% to 0.4% of all Covid-19 deaths.

Nineteen states have reported no child deaths. In states that tracked the details, 0% to 0.5% of all child Covid-19 cases resulted in death. However, experts worry those numbers may increase as cases in children rise and more children with autoimmune disorders and other risk facts are impacted.

"As case counts rise across the board, that is likely to impact more children with severe illness as well," O'Leary said in a news release from the AAP.

"Children ages zero to five can be "highly infectious to other people. It turns out they have a thousand times more virus in their nose than you need to infect, so they're very, very contagious," said William Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical School during an interview Monday on CNN.

What can Do to Lower the Risks in Children

Measures to Reduce the coronavirus Risks in Children

Getting early immunizations in for babies and toddlers — especially babies 6 months and younger — has important benefits. It helps to protect them from infections such as pneumococcus and pertussis that can be deadly, at a time when their immune system is vulnerable.

As the Health departments and UNICEF&WHO instructing, the first and foremost measure to prevent the infection is the self Hygiene.
  1. Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing).
  3. Put distance between your children and other people outside of your home. Keep children at least 6 feet from other people.
  4. Children 2 years and older should wear a mask over their nose and mouth when in public settings where it’s difficult to practice social distancing. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) the other everyday preventive actions listed above.
  5. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks).
  6. Launder items including washable plush toys as needed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting  and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
  7. Make sure your children are up to date on well-child visits and immunizations.
The following instructions given by UNICEF and WHO to practice in schools:

Basic principles

Following basic principles can help keep students, teachers, and staff safe at school and help stop the
spread of this disease. Recommendations for healthy schools are:
• Sick students, teachers and other staff should not come to school
• Schools should enforce regular hand washing with safe water and soap, alcohol rub/hand
sanitizer or chlorine solution and, at a minimum, daily disinfection and cleaning of school
surfaces
• Schools should provide water, sanitation and waste management facilities and follow
environmental cleaning and decontamination procedures
• Schools should promote social distancing (a term applied to certain actions that are taken to
slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease, including limiting large groups of people
coming together).

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