Published: 22 Jul 2021, 03:03 pm
Over 4 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, while weekly cases surged again after months of decrease, according to the latest report of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
As of July 15, almost 4.09 million children have been infected with COVID-19. After decreases in weekly reported cases over the past couple of months, the country began to see increases in cases in July, according to the report of the AAP and the Children's Hospital Association.
Over 23,500 child cases were reported in the week ending July 15, according to the report. Children represented 14.2 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the country.
Children accounted for 1.3 percent to 3.6 percent of total reported hospitalizations, and 0 to 0.26 percent of all COVID-19 deaths, said the report.
"At this time, it still appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects," the AAP said in the report.
Child COVID-19 cases in the United States nearly doubled since late June, according to a CNN report.
While the virus spreads among unvaccinated adults, children -- many of whom are not yet eligible to be vaccinated -- are seriously impacted. Experts believe young children will pay the price if enough American adults do not get vaccinated against COVID-19.
"It doesn't look like this virus is selectively targeting children," said Peter Hotez, professor and dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, in an interview with CNN. "It's just that so many unvaccinated individuals are getting Delta that children are getting swept up along with it."
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths were all up double digits in recent weeks as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads across the United States.
Delta now accounts for approximately 83 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the country, according to Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.