Rise in COVID-19 infection among children across the US: State Data Report



As schools are reopening after a long hiatus forced upon academic institutions across the globe by the pandemic, alarm bells are ringing for parents and medicos alike as there is a spike in the cases of pediatric COVID-19 infections.

The State Data Report, a joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association highlights this distressing trend on the basis of a summary drawn from publicly reported data from 49 states of the United States including New York City and Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

State-level reports are the best publicly available and timely data on child COVID-19 cases in the US. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association are collaborating to collect and share all publicly available data from states on child COVID-19 cases. The definition of “child” case is based on varying age ranges reported across states.

The report states that for the week ending September 1, about 90,600 child COVID-19 cases were reported, an increase of 14% from two weeks prior when 79,500 cases were reported. “Reported COVID-19 cases among children have decreased substantially from the Omicron variant winter surge, however since mid-May reported weekly cases have plateaued, fluctuating between a high of about 112,000 and a low of 68,000 cases,” the report informs.

Over 14.5 million children are reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic according to available state reports; over 343,000 of these cases have been added in the past 4 weeks. Approximately 6.65 million reported cases have been added in 2022.

The age distribution of reported COVID-19 cases was provided on the health department websites of reporting states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The report says that since the pandemic began, children represented 18.4% of total cumulated cases.

For the current week ending September 1, this portion of reported cases that were children was 20.9% (children, under age 18, make up 22.2% of the US population). “Reported cases are likely a substantial undercount of COVID-19 cases,” says the report.

“There is an urgent need to collect more age-specific data to assess the severity of illness related to new variants as well as potential longer-term effects. It is important to recognize there are immediate effects of the pandemic on children’s health, but importantly we need to identify and address the long-lasting impacts on the physical, mental, and social well-being of this generation of children and youth,” the report states.

Summary of Findings (data available as of September 1, 2022):

Cumulative Number of Child COVID-19 Cases

14,539,261 total child COVID-19 cases reported, and children represented 18.4% (14,539,261/78,948,024) of all cases

Overall rate: 19,317 cases per 100,000 children in the population

Change in Child COVID-19 Cases

90,639 child COVID-19 cases were reported the past week from 8/25/22-9/1/22 (14,448,622 to 14,539,261) and children represented 20.9% (90,639/434,425) of the weekly reported cases

Over two weeks, 8/18/22-9/1/22, there was a 1% increase in the cumulated number of child COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic (177,254 cases added (14,362,007 to 14,539,261))