BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — While a majority of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in adults, thousands of children and teenagers in Massachusetts have also tested positive for the virus.
According to the state Department of Public Health, a total of 7,554 kids and teens in the Commonwealth have tested positive for COVID-19 in roughly five months.
In a report released Saturday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said most reported cases of COVID-19 in people aged under 18 years "appear to be asymptomatic or mild."
However, the CDC's study found that children who do get hospitalized with coronavirus appear to be just as likely as adults to need intensive care.
"Although the cumulative rate of COVID-19–associated hospitalization among children is low compared with that in adults, one in three hospitalized children was admitted to an intensive care unit, similar to the proportion among adults," the report said.
The CDC also found that weekly COVID-related hospitalization rates in children had increased between March 1 and July 25, and that hispanic and Black children had the highest rates of COVID-related hospitalization.
The age for the highest rate of COVID-19-associated hospitalization in kids and teens was among those two and under, and infants under three months old have accounted for nearly 19 percent of all U.S. children hospitalized with COVID-19.
The study concluded that "children are at risk for severe COVID-19. Public health authorities and clinicians should continue to track pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infections. Reinforcement of prevention efforts is essential in congregate settings that serve children, including childcare centers and schools."
The CDC said while symptoms may be mild, children can still spread the virus, and "a few children" have also developed multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C.) Currently, information about the syndrome is limited, but the agency is working with state and local health departments to learn more about MIS-C.
So far, 122 children and teens in Massachusetts have been hospitalized due to COVID-19. On Sunday, Boston Children's Hospital reported five patients with COVID-19, one of whom is in the ICU.
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