Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Children Aged <18 Years Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1-July 25, 2020.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Aug 14; 69(32):1081-1088.MM
Most reported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children aged <18 years appear to be asymptomatic or mild (1). Less is known about severe COVID-19 illness requiring hospitalization in children. During March 1-July 25, 2020, 576 pediatric COVID-19 cases were reported to the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), a population-based surveillance system that collects data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in 14 states (2,3). Based on these data, the cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate among children aged <18 years during March 1-July 25, 2020, was 8.0 per 100,000 population, with the highest rate among children aged <2 years (24.8). During March 21-July 25, weekly hospitalization rates steadily increased among children (from 0.1 to 0.4 per 100,000, with a weekly high of 0.7 per 100,000). Overall, Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic) and non-Hispanic black (black) children had higher cumulative rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations (16.4 and 10.5 per 100,000, respectively) than did non-Hispanic white (white) children (2.1). Among 208 (36.1%) hospitalized children with complete medical chart reviews, 69 (33.2%) were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU); 12 of 207 (5.8%) required invasive mechanical ventilation, and one patient died during hospitalization. Although the cumulative rate of pediatric COVID-19-associated hospitalization remains low (8.0 per 100,000 population) compared with that among adults (164.5),* weekly rates increased during the surveillance period, and one in three hospitalized children were admitted to the ICU, similar to the proportion among adults. Continued tracking of SARS-CoV-2 infections among children is important to characterize morbidity and mortality. Reinforcement of prevention efforts is essential in congregate settings that serve children, including childcare centers and schools.