Latest CDC forecast projects 218,000 COVID-19 deaths by October 10

Explained: CDC study finds Hispanic, Black under 21 account for most Covid-19 deaths

The vast majority of children dying from COVID-19 are Hispanic, Black or Native American, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new numbers - the most comprehensive USA accounting to date of pediatric infections and fatalities - show there have been 391,814 known cases and 121 deaths among people under the age of 21 from February to July.

The report also showed just how unusual it is for children and young adults to die from coronavirus. Previous studies have found that the virus's death toll is twice as high among people of color under age 65 as for white Americans.

For this report, CDC researchers looked at almost 600 pregnant women with COVID-19 who were hospitalized in 13 states between March and August.

The study was conducted specifically in the United States, which is world's worst affected country by coronavirus right now, between the months of February and July. Forty-seven jurisdictions responded.

Framingham, Methuen, New Bedford and Revere, which were also labeled high-risk, have populations of color well above the statewide average as well at 35.2%, 37.4%, 38% and 45.5%, respectively, according to U.S. Census data.

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that there have been almost 550,000 pediatric cases of Covid-19 in the United States since the start of the pandemic, including 105 deaths. At the same time, the white figure was only 13 percent.

"Infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, particularly those from racial and ethnic minority groups at higher risk, those with underlying medical conditions, and their caregivers, need clear, consistent, and developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate COVID-19 prevention messages", the researchers wrote.

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Like older Americans, many of them had at least one medical condition before they were infected, such as lung problems like asthma, obesity, heart problems or developmental conditions. "So it's not surprising that it holds even in younger age groups who are not generally represented among the hospitalized or the dead, but when they are, they still follow that same pattern that you're seeing in the adult population".

About 10% of the deaths were babies less than a year old, and 20% were children between ages 1 and 9. But nearly 20% of the deaths were seen in teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 and more than 40% were in 18 to 20 year-olds.

This matches up somewhat with earlier CDC statistics that found 0 to 4-year-olds are four times less likely to be hospitalized and nine times less likely to die than 18 to 29-year-olds, and 5 to 17-year-olds are nine times less likely to be hospitalized and 16 times less likely to die than 18 to 29-year-olds.

It has also been observed that boys are at greater risk of getting affected by the virus, as out of the total deaths in the USA, 63 per cent were of boys and men.

More than 95 per cent of pregnant women who proceed to delivery undergo screening to make sure there are no conditions that could affect the pregnancy, such as syphilis, HIV infection and other illnesses.

"This is the strongest evidence yet that there are deep racial disparities in children just like there are in adults", said John Williams, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Children with only mild symptoms, or experiencing no symptoms, can spread the coronavirus for weeks, suggests a recent study that looked at children in 22 South Korean hospitals. It found that 22% of the children were asymptomatic. The paper was recently published on the website of JAMA Pediatrics.

Diagnosing COVID-19 during childbirth hospitalizations is important to begin measures to protect women, newborns and others, the researchers said.

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