A new report from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention finds that COVID-19 is disproportionately killing Black and Hispanic children.
The CDC examined the effects of COVID-19 on people under the age of 21 between February 12 and July 31 of this year. Researchers found that there were upwards of 390,000 cases and 121 deaths during this time period. Examining the data further, researchers found that 78% of the 121 children who died were people of color. Nearly half of those who died were Hispanic and 29% were Black.
The disproportionate statistics observed among children of color are also seen among adults of color. In July, the CDC reported that the COVID-19 death toll among people of color under the age of 65 is twice that of white people.
The CDC explains that "disparities in social determinants of health, such as crowded living conditions, food and housing insecurity, wealth and educational gaps, and racial discrimination," are contributing factors these alarming disparities.
Underlying conditions can also be contributing factors for the number of COVID-19 deaths among people of color. Three quarters of children who died had an underlying condition such as asthma that made them more susceptible to the virus.
The latest CDC report emerges as kids in several states return to school for in-person instruction. In light of these recent reports, medical professionals are urging caregivers not to wait if their children show any symptoms of COVID-19.
"Make sure your child can be seen by a doctor or taken to the hospital," Dr. Preeti Malani of the University of Michigan said.
Dr. Malani is now pushing for a communal effort to examine this issue and making sure that children are safe during the pandemic.
"We need to really dig into that and come up with ways to make sure this doesn't happen."
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