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Coronavirus live updates: Researchers find rapid rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases across US

September 29, 2020 - 5:11 am
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By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than one million people worldwide.

Over 33.3 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 7.1 million diagnosed cases and at least 205,085 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 812,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 761,000 cases and over 701,000 cases, respectively.

Nearly 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least nine of which are in crucial phase three trials.

Here's how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:

Sep 29, 5:21 am
US reports more than 33,000 new cases


There were 33,037 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Sunday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Sunday's tally is far below the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.

An additional 316 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Sunday, down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.

A total of 7,149,072 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 205,085 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country's cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has hovered around 40,000 in recent weeks.

An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Monday night shows that the number of new cases recorded in the United States is continuing to increase significantly while the number of new deaths decreased slightly in week-over-week comparisons.

Sep 29, 4:52 am
Researchers find rapid rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases across US


The amount of children infected by the novel coronavirus in the United States has increased dramatically in recent months, according to new research by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

Researchers found that the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases rose between April and September from 2.2% to 10% of all cumulative reported cases nationwide. As of Sept. 10, there was a cumulative total of 549,432 pediatric COVID-19 cases in the United States, a rate of 729 cases per 100,000 children, according to the study, which was published online Tuesday and will appear in the December issue of Pediatrics, the official flagship journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"These rising numbers concern us greatly, as the children's cases reflect the increasing virus spread in our communities," Dr. Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement. "While children generally don’t get as sick with the coronavirus as adults, they are not immune and there is much to learn about how easily they can transmit it to others. We must keep our children -- and each other -- healthy by following the recommended safety measures like washing hands, wearing cloth face coverings and staying 6 feet apart from others."

The researchers analyzed trends in reported cases over the five-month period using data from U.S. public health department websites. The study notes that the data is limited because states differ in how they report the information. It’s unclear how much of the increase in pediatric cases was due to increased testing capacity. However, data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the share of all COVID-19 tests administered to children under 18 has remained stable at 5-7% since late April, according to the study.

Researchers found substantial variation in case growth by region. In April, a preponderance of pediatric cases was in the Northeast. In June, cases surged in the South and West, followed by increases in the Midwest in mid-July, according to the study.

Researchers also found that the portion of newly reported COVID-19 cases among children has increased substantially over time. Less than 3% of cases reported the week ending April 23 were pediatric. In the last eight weeks, children represented 12-15.9% of newly reported cases each week, according to the study.

As of Sept. 10, children represented 1.7% of total hospitalizations and 0.07% of total deaths, while 0.01% of pediatric cases resulted in death, according to the study.

"We will continue to closely monitor children's cases, with hopes of seeing the upward trend turn around," Goza said. "We encourage parents to call their pediatricians and get their children into the office for well visits and vaccinations, especially now that some schools are reopening and flu season has arrived."

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