US, Europe report high Covid-19 cases among children as Omicron sparks concerns
Over 133,000 children in the United States have tested positive for the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the past few days, according to data published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. Children represented 22.4% of the weekly reported cases of Covid-19 in the US, the report further said, pointing out that the Covid-19 cases among children have been significantly high for the past few weeks.
“For the 17th week in a row child Covid-19 cases are above 100,000. Since the first week of September, there have been nearly 2 million additional child cases,” the report said.
The report said that severe illness due to Covid-19 was uncommon among children, but emphasised on the urgent need to collect more data on “longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children”.
This also came amid widespread concerns over Coronavirus's new variant, Omicron, which scientists fear may be more infectious than the previous strains.
Recently, the World Health Organization's office for Europe also said that the incidence of Covid-19 was two to three times higher among young children than the average population in some places.
Pointing out that rates of infection were high in the 5 to 14 age group, WHO Europe regional director Dr Hans Kluge emphasised on the need to “protect children and the schools” amid the rapid increase in cases among the young in the region.
“As school holidays approach, we must also acknowledge that children contaminate their parents and grandparents at home, with a 10 times increased risk for these adults to develop severe disease, be hospitalized or die when non-vaccinated,” he added, according to news agency PTI.