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CDC says COVID-19 has been detected in adolescents twice as often as in younger children

Coronavirus testing in Dedham earlier this month.
Coronavirus testing in Dedham earlier this month.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

A new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of coronavirus cases among school-aged children says that COVID-19 has been confirmed twice as often in adolescents as in younger children.

“Since March, 277,285 COVID-19 cases in children have been reported. COVID-19 incidence among adolescents aged 12–17 years was approximately twice that in children aged 5–11 years,” the agency said in a study published Monday in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Mortality and hospitalization in the school-age group was low overall, the study observed.

But it also said that among those who were hospitalized or admitted to an ICU, “Hispanic ethnicity, Black race, and underlying conditions were more commonly reported ... providing additional evidence that some children might be at increased risk for severe illness.”


“Acute COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) have been reported to disproportionately affect Hispanic and Black children," the study noted

The study, which included data up to Sept. 19, found that the incidence of COVID-19 among school-age children peaked in July then decreased and plateaued somewhat before falling further in early September.

Now, the study said, it might be on the rise again.

The study pointed to community mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC, suggesting they offered a path to “safer reopening for in-person learning.”

“It is important for schools and communities to monitor multiple indicators of COVID-19 among school-aged children and layer prevention strategies,” the study said.

“Schools and communities should implement multiple concurrent preventive strategies and adjust mitigation depending on local levels of transmission to reduce COVID-19 disease risk for students, teachers, school staff members, families and the community,” the study said.

Martin finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.