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Coronavirus deaths in children echo toll in adults, the CDC says

A detailed look at COVID-19 deaths in American children and young adults shows that they reflect patterns seen in elderly patients.

The report, published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined 121 coronavirus-related deaths between February 12 and July 31 in people under 21 years of age.

As older Americans, many of them had at least one medical condition before they became infected, such as lung problems such as asthma, obesity, heart problems, or developmental conditions.

Like older adults, deaths among younger people were also more common for those in certain racial and ethnic groups. The CDC found that among the 1

21 injured were 54 Latinos, 35 were black and 17 were white.

“It’s really quite striking,” said Dr. Andrew Pavia, a pediatric expert in infectious diseases at the University of Utah who was not involved in the CDC study. “It’s similar to what we see in adults” and perhaps reflects many things, including the fact that many important workers who have to go to work are black and Latino parents, “he said.

The total number of young deaths is relatively small, which represents approx. 0.08% of all US COVID-19 deaths reported to the CDC during the study period. Children and adults of college age make up 26% of the U.S. population.

Fifteen of the deaths were linked to a rare condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which can cause swelling and heart problems.

The report also found that nearly two-thirds of deaths were in men, and that deaths increased with age. There were 71 deaths among those younger than 17, including a dozen infants. The remaining 50 deaths were in adults aged 18 to 20.

Researchers are still trying to understand why serious diseases seem to become more common as children get older. One theory is that young children have fewer ACE2 receptors on their airway surfaces that coronavirus is able to attach to, Pavia said. Another is that children may be less likely to have a dangerous overreaction from the immune system to the coronavirus, he said.

So far this year, the COVID-19 tax in children is lower than the number of child killers reported to the CDC during a typical flu season, which has been around 130 in recent years. But comparing the two is difficult for a number of reasons, including the fact that most schools were not open during the spring due to the pandemic.

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