By Kevin Roche
People are appropriately concerned about the potential impact of CV-19 on children. Fortunately, they are largely untouched by the actual virus. Those who do become seriously ill almost universally have significant pre-existing disease, which is verified in a new CDC study. (CDC Paper) The study covers people under age 21, who represent 26% of the US population. 121 deaths were reported in this group through July 31, out of about 392,000 cases. That is a case fatality rate of .03%. Since this group likely has high numbers of undetected, asymptomatic infections, the infection fatality rate is likely at least ten times lower. But those deaths were also heavily weighted to 18 to 20 year-olds, the median age was 16 and a third were 19 or 20, so for true children, the rates are even lower. 75% had an underlying medical condition; 45% had more than one. Based on what I saw on death certificates, it is likely there was some under-reporting of comorbidities. The most common comorbidities were lung conditions and obesity. 65% died in a hospital and 32% died at home or in an ER.
Again, we see very low risk to healthy children, unlike with flu for example.