• Article
  • April 10, 2020

New CDC Data Examines COVID-19 Cases in Pediatrics

New U.S. data shows the potential effect of coronavirus on kids.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a preliminary description of pediatric U.S. COVID-19 cases. Early data indicate relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized, and fewer children than adults experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Severe outcomes have been reported in children, including three deaths.

Here are additional findings from data analyzed from 149,760 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States occurring during February 12–April 2, 2020:

  • In the United States, 22% of the COVID-19 positive population is made up of infants, children and adolescents under 18 years old. 
  • Data from China suggest pediatric COVID-19 cases might be less severe than cases in adults and children might experience different symptoms than do adults; however, disease characteristics among pediatric patients in the United States have not been described.
  • Among 149,082 (99.6%) reported cases for which age was known, 2,572 (1.7%) were among children under 18.
  • Among those with available information, 73% of pediatric patients had symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath compared with 93% of adults ages 18 to 64 years during the same period.
  • 5.7% of all pediatric patients, or 20% of those for whom hospitalization status was known, were hospitalized, lower than the percentage hospitalized among all adults ages 18 to 64 years (10%) or those with known hospitalization status (33%).
  • Three deaths were reported among the pediatric cases included in this analysis.
  • These data support previous findings that children with COVID-19 might not have reported fever or cough as often as do adults. Whereas most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization still occurs in this age group. 
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