COVID-19 Cases in Children Up 40% in Late July; Best/Worst Face Coverings; and Vaccine Pilot Program Looms | #covid19 | #kids | #childern

In Late July,  a 40% Increase in Children Testing Positive for COVID-19, Report Finds

More than
97,000 children in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19 during the last two
weeks of July, according to a new report published by the American Academy of
Pediatrics (AAP)
and
the Children’s Hospital Association.

Researchers
found a 40 percent increase in coronavirus cases among children in the states
and local communities that were included in the study of the two-week period.
The age range for children varied widely by state, from 0-14 years of age to
0-24 years of age. Most of the new infections occurred in the U.S. South and
West.

The study
comes as school districts across the nation weigh the risks of resuming
in-person classes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has
said that children who get the coronavirus are less likely to have severe
symptoms. The researchers in this new study agree with that assessment.
Although they stress the need to continue monitoring the effects of the
coronavirus on children.

“At
this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among
children,” states the AAP and the Children’s Hospital Association.
“However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on COVID-19
cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age so that the effects of
COVID-19 on children’s health can continue to be documented and
monitored.”

On August 6,
the age distribution of reported COVID-19 cases was made available on health
department websites of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, and Guam, the researchers stated.

“While
children represented only 9.1 percent of all cases in states reporting cases by
age, over 380,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of
the pandemic,” said the AAP and Children’s Hospital Association.

Here are
the Best, Worst Types of Masks to Wear to Slow COVID-19 Spread, Study Says

The worst
masks — or least effective face coverings in reducing the spread of COVID-19
— are those made from fleece. Bandanas, scarfs, and neck fleeces such as
balaclavas ranked lowest in protection — although they’re better than wearing
no mask at all, according to a new study.

Researchers
found that a gaiter neck fleece, for example, tends to break up respiratory
droplets into smaller droplets, instead of blocking them. The result: they tend
to release a larger number of individual droplets into the air.

“Considering
that smaller particles are airborne longer than large droplets (larger droplets
sink faster), the use of such a mask might be counterproductive,” the
researchers wrote. The Duke University study reviewed a variety of masks to see
which are most effective at blocking respiratory droplets to protect wearers
and the people around them.

What are the
best masks to wear? The best face coverings were N95 masks without valves – the
hospital-grade coverings that are used by front-line healthcare workers.
Surgical or polypropylene masks also performed well.

The widely
used cotton face coverings “provided good coverage, eliminating a
substantial amount of the spray from normal speech,” says a summary of the
study.

“This was
just a demonstration – more work is required to investigate variations in
masks, speakers, and how people wear them – but it demonstrates that this sort
of test could easily be conducted by businesses and others that are providing
masks to their employees or patrons,” said Martin Fischer, Ph.D., a chemist and
physicist, with Duke University’s Department of Physics.

In a move
unrelated to the Duke study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance on masks or face coverings. The CDC
is urging the public not to wear masks with exhalation valves or vents because
they help spread COVID-19.

The CDC
states: “The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from
reaching others to aid with source control. Masks with one-way valves or vents
allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material.  This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets
to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, CDC does
not recommend using masks or if they have an exhalation valve or vent.”

Florida
to Take Part in U.S. Vaccine Pilot Program, State Official Says

Florida is one of four states chosen to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program under the direction of the federal government.

Florida
State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees announced Florida’s role this week during a
conference call with hospital officials. Florida has been invited to
participate in the pilot program led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC).

Mr. Rivkees
said that details about the pilot program “will be coming as vaccines become
available.” He did not elaborate. The program reportedly involves setting up
working groups to develop plans for the distribution of a vaccine — after one
is approved by regulators.

The states
selected are California, Florida, Minnesota and North Dakota, according to
media reports.

Tags: children’s health, COVID-19




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