The coronavirus pandemic is now hitting children in the U.S. at “unprecedented levels,” with the final week of October seeing a record spike in cases among youths.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in a statement Monday that it and the Children’s Hospital Association, which track data reported by state health departments, found that there were 61,000 new cases in children during the last week in October, “which is larger than any previous week in the pandemic,” CNN reported.
Dr. Sally Goza, AAP president, called the numbers a stark reminder of the impact the pandemic is having on everyone, including children and adolescents.
“This virus is highly contagious, and as we see spikes in many countries, children are more likely to be infected, too,” Goza said, CNN reported.
Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 853,000 U.S. children have tested positive for the coronavirus, including 200,000 new cases during October, the academy said.
AAP speculates the actual number of cases is likely much higher because symptoms in children are often mild and can look like common colds or viruses and as a result, many go untested. However, early research has shown children may not get symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath as often as adults, CNN reported.