CDC estimates 3 in 4 kids have had coronavirus infections

Apr 25, 2022, 10:51 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2022, 2:21 pm
FILE - Boxes of KN95 protective masks are stacked together before being distributed to students at ...

FILE - Boxes of KN95 protective masks are stacked together before being distributed to students at Camden High School in Camden, N.J., Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday, April 26, 2022, three out of every four U.S. children have been infected with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Three out of every four U.S. children have been infected with the coronavirus and more than half of all Americans had signs of previous infections, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers estimated in a report Tuesday.

The researchers examined blood samples from more than 200,000 Americans and looked for virus-fighting antibodies made from infections, not vaccines. They found that signs of past infection rose dramatically between December and February, when the more contagious omicron variant surged through the U.S.

For Americans of all ages, about 34% had signs of prior infection in December. Just two months later, 58% did.

“I did expect it to increase. I did not expect it to increase quite this much,” said Dr. Kristie Clarke, co-leader of a CDC team that tracks the extent of coronavirus infections.

The news came as Pfizer sought permission to offer a booster dose to kids ages 5 to 11, just like people 12 and older can get.

In the CDC report, the most striking increase was in children. The percentage of those 17 and under with antibodies rose from about 45% in December to about 75% in February.

The older people were, the less likely they had evidence of past infections. That may be because older adults have higher vaccination rates and they may be more likely to take other COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing masks and avoiding crowds, Clarke said.

Reported COVID-19 cases had a huge surge in December and January, then fell almost as dramatically as they had risen. But daily case counts have been trending up again in recent weeks.

The case numbers are believed to be an undercount, but officials do think recent increases reflect a true rise in infections. Many COVID-19 infections are mild enough that patients do not seek care or confirmatory lab tests. CDC officials say they plan to release a study soon that estimates that in recent months there were three infections for every reported case.

Another recent trend: U.S. health officials say they have seen two weeks of increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, though the numbers remain relatively low. Hospital admissions number about 1,600 per day, a 9% increase in the prior week, the CDC reported.

Available evidence nevertheless offers reason to be hopeful about how the pandemic is going, officials suggested.

“We are not anticipating more severe disease from some of these subvariants, but we are actively studying them,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.

The tests that showed how many people had previous infections can detect antibodies for one to two years after infection, and possibly longer. Studies have shown previous infection can protect some people against severe disease and hospitalization, but CDC officials stressed that the previously infected should still get COVID-19 vaccines.

The study looked for any detectable level of antibodies; it did not distinguish how many people had antibody levels that might be protective. Scientists are still trying to understand what role these kinds of antibodies play in protection from future virus exposures.

Officials continue to urge Americans to get vaccines and boosters, which offer additional protection against COVID-19 for all, including those who were previously infected.

Currently the U.S. offers a booster dose starting at age 12 but Pfizer and BioNTech on Tuesday asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow healthy elementary-age kids to also get one — about six months after their last shot. The companies cited a small study showing the extra shot for kids ages 5 to 11 revved up antibodies capable of fighting the super-contagious omicron variant. Pfizer’s kid-size shots are a third of the dose given to anyone 12 or older.

___

AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard in Washington contributed to this report.

___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

German charged with crimes against humanity, IS membership

BERLIN (AP) — German federal prosecutors said Wednesday they have charged a woman with crimes against humanity and aiding and abetting genocide for allegedly having joined the extremist Islamic State group in Syria where she had a Yazidi slave and committed other crimes. The suspect, only identified as German citizen Nadine K. in line with […]
1 day ago
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during an event on health care costs, in the Rose Garden of the W...
Associated Press

White House gains partners to end US hunger within a decade

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is counting on a variety of private-sector partnerships to help fund and implement its ambitious goal of ending hunger in America by 2030. President Joe Biden is hosting a conference Wednesday on hunger, nutrition and health, the first by the White House since 1969. That conference, under President Richard […]
1 day ago
President Joe Biden speaks from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 27...
Associated Press

Biden looks to win over Pacific Island leaders at summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to host Pacific Island leaders for a two-day summit as the U.S. looks to counter China’s military and economic influence in the region. Pacific Island leaders, meanwhile, see an even more pressing concern: climate change. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken planned to kick off the […]
1 day ago
FILE - This photo provided by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un del...
Associated Press

N Korea test launches missile on eve of Harris trip to Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday, South Korea’s military said, a day before U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is to visit the South. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the North Korean missile launch but gave no further details, such as […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

1 killed in Belgium police raid on far-right extremists

BRUSSELS (AP) — A police raid targeting a group of far-right extremists left one person dead in the Belgian province of Antwerp, the federal prosecutor’s office said. “During the raid there was a shooting incident, and during that shooting incident someone was killed,” prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt told The Associated Press. The person wasn’t […]
1 day ago
FILE - Immigrants seeking asylum who were recently reunited arrive at a hotel in San Antonio, July ...
Associated Press

Feds want psychological tests for parents of separated kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is asking that parents of children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border undergo another round of psychological evaluations to measure how traumatized they were by the Trump-era policy, court documents show. The request comes in a lawsuit filed by migrants seeking compensation from the government after thousands of children were […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
CDC estimates 3 in 4 kids have had coronavirus infections