As coronavirus cases climb worryingly across the United States, a recent study shows that the number of children contracting the virus "steadily increased" in July.
In the last week alone, according to the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association, nearly 72,000 cases were reported in children, roughly 19% of the total number of new cases nationwide. And while hospitalizations and deaths remain low, the number of child coronavirus infections increased by 3% over the last two weeks of the month after declining earlier in the summer.
Since the pandemic began a year and a half ago, approximately 4.2 million children have tested positive for the coronavirus. The good news is that severe illness and death are still uncommon for children who contract the virus. In states reporting, children accounted for fewer than one-quarter of 1% of all COVID-19 deaths. Seven states reported no child deaths, while other states reported 0-0.03% of all child coronavirus cases resulting in death. As of July 29, a total of 358 children have reportedly been killed by COVID-19 in the U.S.
Long-term health of children needs to be studied
"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 report reads.
That said, the report acknowledged that the figures could be inaccurate for a handful of reasons. The ages designated as a "child" vary from state to state, ranging from newborns to 20, and some states altered their definition of a child during the pandemic.