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. – Nearly 72,000 children and teens contracted COVID-19 last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Tuesday.
The group counted 71,726 new cases from July 22 to July 29. That’s a “substantial” increase from the previous week and five times the number of children who were sick at the end of June. The definition of a child varies by state, but generally includes those up to 17 or 18 years of age.
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After the decline in reported cases over the past few months, the July figures began to trend up again.
About 4.2 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Children and adolescents represent 19% of the reported cases.
At this time, it still appears that serious illnesses are rare among children, said the academy, which represents pediatricians. The number of hospitalizations has been stable for much of the pandemic. Children accounted for between 1.3% and 3.5% of hospitalizations, depending on the state.
Seven states have reported no child deaths from covid-19 during the pandemic. As of Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 526 deaths among children ages 0 to 17.