COVID-19 possibly striking more children than expected
The number of children infected with the coronavirus is far more extensive than what is currently reported — a hidden detail that could vastly underestimate the demand on health care systems and pediatric intensive care units (PICUs).
A new study published in the “Journal of Public Health Management and Practice” from the University of South Florida (USF) and the Women’s Institute for Independent Social Enquiry (WiiSE), estimates that for each child who requires intensive care for COVID-19, there are 2,381 children infected with the virus. This calculation follows a report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention regarding its clinical study of over 2,100 children in China with COVID-19.
According to the North American registry, Virtual PICU Systems, 74 children in the U.S. were admitted to PICUs between March 18 and April 6, signaling an additional 176,190 children were likely infected during this timeframe. Children younger than 2 accounted for 30 percent of the cases, 24 percent were ages 2 to 11 and 46 percent of the PICU cases were children between ages 12 and 17. Researchers say that if as many as 25 percent of the U.S. population becomes infected with the coronavirus before the end of 2020, 50,000 children with severe illness will need to be hospitalized, with 5,400 of them critically ill and requiring mechanical ventilation. Clinical reports indicate the average length of stay for pediatric COVID-19 is 14 days. According to a national survey aimed to evaluate the U.S. pediatric…