U.S. health care system experienced a swing in pediatric cases of COVID-19

In 2020, pediatric hospitalizations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic increased at an extraordinary rate across various states, according to new research in JAMA Pediatrics.

A team from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health gathered data from the University of Minnesota COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project across many states that documented the rate of hospitalizations for patients with COVID-19.

The data, originating between May through November 2020, only included patients who were aged 19 or younger at the time of hospitalization.

Of all the hospitalizations composed in the data, close to 5,300 pediatric cases of COVID-19 were examined, establishing for any indication of variation in magnitude of hospitalizations over that short span of time.

The results showed that the initial rate of pediatric hospitalizations had surged remarkably by the study’s conclusory phase, from 2.0 per 100,000 hospitalized children to 17.2. Many states, including Utah (5,000 percent) and New Hampshire (42 percent), experienced a drastic surge in pediatric cases of COVID-19.

“Pediatric hospitalization rates for COVID-19 exhibit significant variation across states and over the course of the pandemic,” the JAMA publication reads.

“When ordering the 20 states observed at the end of the study period, most ranked similarly for adult and pediatric hospitalization rates, with some notable exceptions: New Jersey ranked highest for adult hospitalizations in the sample by November 15 but only seventh highest for pediatric hospitalizations.”

“Our results present concerning trends in pediatric hospitalizations,” the findings warned.

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