One third of children with COVID-19 require hospital care. And Hispanic children are the most affected
Hispanic children are at higher risk of becoming ill with COVID-19.
Photo: Aurelia Ventura / Impremedia / La Opinion
Racial disparities in America’s coronavirus epidemic extend to children, according to two sobering government reports released on Friday.
One of the reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined children with COVID-19 who needed hospitalization and found that Hispanic children were hospitalized at a rate eight times higher than white children, and black children were hospitalized at a rate five times higher.
However, adults are 20 times more likely than children to need hospital care after becoming infected, the CDC said.
“Although the cumulative rate of hospitalization associated with COVID-19 among children is low compared to that of adults … children can develop a serious illness from COVID-19,” the agency researchers wrote.
The second report examined cases of a rare syndrome associated with coronavirus in children. Found that nearly three-quarters of the children with the syndrome were Hispanic or black, well above its representation in the general population.
As of August 6, 2020, the CDC has received reports of 570 confirmed cases of Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and 10 deaths in 40 states, Washington, DC, and New York City.
More than 70% of the reported cases have occurred in Hispanic / Latino children (187 cases) or non-Hispanic blacks (153 cases).
The coronavirus has exposed racial fractures in the United States health care system as African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans have been hospitalized and have died from COVID-19 at much higher rates than other groups.
Meanwhile, the impact of the virus on children has become a political issue.
President Donald Trump and some other administration officials have been pushing schools to reopen, a step that would allow more parents to return to work and the economy to recover.
The vast majority of coronavirus cases and deaths have occurred in adults, and children are considered to be less likely to have severe symptoms when infected.
Of the nearly 5 million cases reported in the United States as of Wednesday, about 265,000 were in children under the age of 17, about 5%. Of the more than 156,000 deaths reported at that time, 77 were children, about 0.05%.
But the CDC reports on Friday they are a reminder that some children become seriously ill and die, said Carrie Henning-Smith, a researcher at the University of Minnesota who focuses on health disparities.
With information from ABC10