Few German Children Severely Impacted by COVID-19
Although children and adolescents have a lower burden of SARS-CoV-2-associated disease than adults, assessing absolute risk among children remains difficult due to a high rate of undetected cases.
A non-peer-reviewed study published on November 30, 2021, reported SARS-CoV-2-associated burden of a severe disease course or death in children and adolescents is low in Germany.
This finding seems particularly the case for 5-11-year-old children without comorbidities.
By contrast, Paediatric inflammatory, multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 plays a significant role in overall disease burden among all pediatric age groups.
These researchers combine data from three sources — a national seroprevalence study (the SARS-CoV-2 KIDS study), the German statutory notification system, and a nationwide registry on children and adolescents hospitalized with either SARS-CoV-2 or Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS-TS), to provide reliable estimates on children's hospitalization, intensive care admission and death due to COVID-19 and PIMS-TS.
The overall PIMS-TS rate was 1 per 4,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections, mostly children without comorbidities.
While the overall hospitalization rate associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection was 35.9 per 10,000 children, ICU admission rate was 1.7 per 10,000, and case fatality was 0.09 per 10,000.
Children without comorbidities were found to be significantly less likely to suffer from a severe or fatal disease course. The lowest risk was observed in children aged 5-11 without comorbidities.
In this group, the ICU admission rate was 0.2 per 10,000, and case fatality could not be calculated due to an absence of cases.
In the U.S., which is about four times more populated than Germany, the CDC reported 630 deaths attributed to COVID-19 (vaccination and comorbidity status undisclosed) in people under 18 since January 2020.
Additionally, the CDC reported 173 deaths involving both COVID-19 and pneumonia as of December 1, 2021.
The CDC publishes current 'COVID-19 Weekly Deaths by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Sex' trends on this webpage.