Sep 15, 2020 - Health

CDC: Roughly 75% of children who die from COVID-19 are minorities

Students wearing masks walk around the Boston College Campus in Newton, Mass., on Sept. 14.
Students wearing masks walk around the Boston College Campus in Newton, Mass., on Sept. 14. Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The coronavirus killed at least 121 people under 21 years old across the U.S. between Feb. 12 and July 31, according to a study published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: Of those young people, roughly 3 in 4 were Hispanic, Black, American Indian or Alaska Natives, suggesting the virus is disproportionately killing young people of color, and especially those with underlying health conditions.

  • The CDC said the findings should encourage school systems that have reopened to carefully monitor infections and severe symptoms in children and young adults.

By the numbers: The CDC reported there have been 391,814 known cases among people under age 21 from mid-February through the end of July. Most — but not all — youth patients have milder symptoms than older patients.

  • Of the young people who have died from the virus, 63% were male, 10% were infants less than a year old, 20% were between 1 and 9 years old, 70% were between 10 and 20 years old, and 75% had at least one underlying health condition.
  • Additionally, 45% were Hispanic, 29% were Black, 4% were non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Natives.

Of note: Researchers clarified that during the study, most schools and child care centers closed and kids were not frequently tested, which could have limited the scope of the data.

The big picture: "Among infants, children, and adolescents hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and cases of MIS-C, persons from racial and ethnic minority groups are overrepresented," the researchers noted.

  • The CDC confirmed in a study last week that children can and do transmit the coronavirus to members of their household.
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