Not groundbreaking, BUT really important for physicians and parents to make data-informed decisions.
The majority of childhood COVID19 cases are asymptomatic or mild. For that reason, we really haven’t known what happens to kids that DO get hospitalized due to COVID19. Are they hospitalized at a similar rate as adults? What are their symptoms? What percent have underlying conditions? CDC published a report today! Here are the numbers:
Hospitalization rate: 8 kids per 100,000 are hospitalized due to COVID19. This is MUCH lower than the adult hospitalization rate (165 per 100,000). Kids younger than 2 years old (25 per 100,000) had the highest rate of hospitalization compared to kids older than 2.
ICU rate: 33% of hospitalized kids got sent to the ICU.
Ventilation rate: 6% of kids in ICU required a ventilator.
Underlying conditions: 43% of hospitalized kids had an underlying medical condition. The most common condition was obesity, lung disease, and prematurity.
Symptoms: 54% of hospitalized kids had fever/chills, followed by nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea (42%).
Death rate: 1% of children died during hospitalization. This is compared to 29% of hospitalized adults.
Translation? Children can (and do) develop severe COVID19 illness, but the vast majority survive to hospital discharge. Hospitalization rates have increased among kids since March, which is indicative of the virus’ incredible reach right now.
Love, your local epidemiologist
Data source: Kim et al. (August 7, 2020). Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Children Aged <18 Years Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 — COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1–July 25, 2020. MMWR