Washington: Nearly 9.5 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, and child COVID-19 cases have "spiked dramatically" across the country, according to the latest report of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children's Hospital Association.
A total of 9,452,491 child COVID-19 cases had been reported across the country as of January 13, and children represented 17.8 per cent of all confirmed cases, according to the report published Tuesday. The overall rate was 12,559 cases per 100,000 children in the population.
Nearly one million child cases were reported in the past week ending January 13, four times the rate of the peak of last winters' surge, according to the AAP.
The weekly case count is a 69 percent increase over the 580,000 added cases reported the previous week, and a tripling of case counts from the two weeks prior, according to the AAP.
This marks the 23rd week in a row child COVID-19 cases in the United States are above 100,000. Since the first week of September, there have been over 4.4 million additional child cases, according to the AAP.
Children accounted for 1.7 per cent to 4.4 per cent of total reported hospitalizations, and 0 to 0.26 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths, according to 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," said the AAP in the report.
"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," said the report.