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What Experts Know About Children, Covid and Omicron

Bloomberg business news
WATCH: What’s the risk of omicron to kids? Telethon Kids Institute’s Prof. Asha Bowen explains the symptoms and how to protect children.Source: Quicktake

Covid-19 cases among children have surged across the world amid omicron-fueled outbreaks, spurring more hospitalizations and raising fresh concern about the risk of severe illness -- although such cases remain proportionately rare. It’s also renewed questions about the safety of schools and the potential for prolonged health effects. 

Reported Covid-19 cases among children spiked dramatically in 2022 during the wave driven by the hyper-infectious omicron variant, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Almost 4.5 million pediatric cases were reported in the U.S. in the first six weeks of the year. Pediatric cases peaked at 1.15 million in the week ending Jan. 20 and were still at “extremely high” levels in early February -- well above what was observed during the peak of the delta surge in 2021, it said. The 298,931 cases of Covid-19 in children in the week ending Feb. 10 represented 21.9% of the weekly reported infections across the U.S. That jump in sheer numbers infected has also translated into more Covid-related hospitalizations.