A few months into the pandemic, the initial optimism about youthful invulnerability was crumbling. It became increasingly clear that young people could both catch and transmit COVID-19.
In July, a news report said that one-third of Florida’s children tested positive for the virus. In August, a California teenager became the state’s “official first juvenile fatality.” In a Georgia elementary school, a first-grader tested positive for the virus. In another of the state’s schools, an eighth-grader tested positive.
The notion that children were not “significant carriers” bit the dust. South Korean research indicated that “infected individuals as young as 10 can be as contagious as adults.” Another study showed that children, yes, even the ones younger than five, might have noses and throats more highly populated with SARS-CoV-2 than those of adults.
Kids might not even show signs of being sick, but apparently, they can be instrumental in making others sick. Journalist Robert Roy Britt wrote in his article for Medium.com,
In an outbreak at a June sleepover camp in Georgia, at least 260 children and adults contracted Covid-19 — about 44% of all kids and counselors. Among kids ages six to 10, 51% tested positive (the actual figure might be much higher because not all campers were tested).
Also early in August, the World Health Organization made an unsettling announcement:
The proportion of cases in teens and young adults has gone up six-fold, and in very young children and babies the proportion has increased seven-fold…
Georgia just couldn’t catch a break. A seven-year-old Black male child, with no underlying medical conditions, became the state’s youngest COVID-19 fatality. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association collaborated on a report, and announced that pediatric cases “grew 40% in the last half of July […] bringing the total number of child infections to 8.8% of all U.S. cases.”
There is said to be “conflicting data about how Covid-19 is transmitted to and from children.” There is also confusion about other matters, partly because the various institutions and governmental jurisdictions have their own definitions of when youth ends, so the compilation of relevant statistics is not an exact science. But all in all,
97,078 new child cases were reported from July 16-30, bringing the total number since the pandemic began to 338,982… California, Florida and Arizona had the highest number of total child cases in the U.S., with more than 20,000 each, the report found. By population, Arizona had the highest count, with more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 children…
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Source: “US teen dies from coronavirus, becoming first juvenile death in California,” News.com.au, 08/01/20
Source: “Kids in Classrooms Could Make the Pandemic Much Worse,” Medium.com, 08/04/20
Source: “Masks could save 70,000 Americans by December,” CNN.com, 08/07/20
Source: “7-year-old becomes youngest to die of coronavirus in Georgia,” TheHill.com, 08/07/20
Source: “Covid-19 Cases Among U.S. Children Jumped 40% in Late July,” Bloomberg.com, 08/09/20
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