Despite a low fatality rate COVID-19 kills more US children than any other disease. According to research published on Monday, Covid-19 has risen to the eighth spot as the leading cause of death for American children.
Fewer than one percent of the deaths from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic have been among people younger than 18, according to data collected by the federal government. In the general population, Covid-19 ranks as the third most significant cause of mortality.
However, the researchers noted child mortality is highly unusual. Thus, the toll of Covid-19 should be measured against other causes of child mortality.
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To put it bluntly, deaths in children are highly uncommon. It’s a tragedy, but it’s one that we didn’t see coming. Dr. Sean O’Leary, chair of the Infectious Diseases Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, called it “a profound event.”
Although the sickness may be less severe in children, “everyone knows that Covid is most severe in the elderly and immunocompromised and that it is less severe in children,” the author writes. Children’s numbers are substantially smaller, but it makes them insignificant.
Perinatal conditions, unintentional injuries, congenital malformations or deformations, assault, suicide, malignant neoplasms, cardiovascular diseases, and influenza and pneumonia were the leading causes of death among children and young adults ages 0 to 19 in 2019, the last year before the pandemic.
After examining data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the researchers determined that between August 2021 and July 2022, there were 821 deaths of people in the Covid-19 age range. According to 2019 statistics, this death rate stands at eight among children younger than 19. Among teenagers aged 15 to 19, it comes in at #5.
Deaths from Covid-19 have surpassed those from influenza and pneumonia as the leading cause of mortality from an infectious or respiratory disease. The researchers concluded that it was responsible for “significantly” more deaths than any other disease that vaccinations may have prevented.
Evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that vaccination rates against Covid-19 are lowest among children. Ninety percent or more of children under five are not fully vaccinated, and only ten percent of eligible youngsters have had their latest booster injection.
Looking at other significant causes of death, such as car accidents or childhood cancer, and thinking, “Gosh, if we had some easy, safe thing we could do to get rid of one of those, wouldn’t we simply jump at it?” O’Leary, a professor of pediatric infectious disease at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado, remarked, “And we have that with Covid with immunizations.
More than 90% of kids have had Covid-19 once, according to a blood sample survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
O’Leary added that it is unclear how much of a threat the virus will continue to pose in the future, but the benefits of vaccination exceed the risks.
He said vaccination is “obviously” the best course of action because the benefits outweigh the risks. To be safe, rather than sorry.
Because the analysis focuses on fatalities where Covid-19 was an underlying cause of death rather than those where it may have been a contributory factor, the researchers wrote that their findings, published in JAMA Network Open, may underestimate the mortality burden of Covid-19. Covid-19 deaths may also have been underreported, according to other investigations of higher mortality.
Researchers suggest that vaccination and ventilation will “continue to play a key role in controlling transmission of the virus and minimizing severe disease” as Covid-19 spreads across the United States.