In an “alarming increase,” new Covid-19 cases in children in the US increased nearly 64% over the prior week, according to data published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For the week ending Dec. 30, there were more than 325,000 new cases among children. The prior week saw more than 126,000 new cases. This is the highest case count ever reported in children over the course of the pandemic and nearly double the case count from two weeks earlier, according to AAP.
Nearly 7.9 million children have tested positive over the course of the pandemic, more than 10% of all US children, according to AAP. In the most recent week, children were just below 18% of all new Covid-19 cases.
The week ending Dec. 30 was the 21st week of more than 100,000 new cases in children.
In the 24 states and New York City that report hospitalizations, children accounted for between 1.7 and 4.1% of cumulative hospitalizations.
“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is uncommon among children,” the report authors wrote.
“However, there is an urgent need to collect more data to assess the severity of illness related to new variants as well as the 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,” they wrote.