TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- About 176,190 children nationwide were estimated to be infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by April 6, 2020, according to a study published online April 16 in the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice.
Elizabeth Barnett Pathak, Ph.D., from the Women's Institute for Independent Social Enquiry in Olney, Maryland, and colleagues provided evidence-based estimates of children infected with SARS-CoV-2 and projected cumulative numbers of severely ill pediatric COVID-19 cases requiring hospitalization during the U.S. 2020 pandemic.
The researchers found that 74 children had reportedly been admitted to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) in 19 states by April 6, 2020, reflecting an estimated 176,190 children nationwide infected with SARS-CoV-2 (52,381, 42,857, and 80,952 aged younger than 2, 2 to 11, and 12 to 17 years, respectively). Overall, 3.7 million children would be infected with SARS-CoV-2 under a cumulative pediatric infection proportion (CPIP) scenario of 5 percent, including 9,907 severely ill children requiring hospitalization and 1,086 critically ill children requiring PICU admission. Overall, 10,865 children would require PICU admission under a CPIP scenario of 50 percent, while 99,073 would require hospitalization for severe pneumonia and 37.0 million would be infected with SARS-CoV-2.
"Although the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is lower in pediatric cases than adults, hospitals should be prepared and have the proper equipment and staffing levels to deal with a potential influx of younger patients," a coauthor said in a statement.