As the United States’ covid-19 death toll moves relentlessly beyond 200,000, data shows that only about 100 children and teenagers have died of the disease, a fatality rate that is drawing wonder from clinicians and increasing interest among researchers hoping to understand why.
Covid-19 has become the nation’s third-leading cause of death this year, but 18 states had not seen a single fatality among people under 20 as of Sept. 10, according to statistics compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
Children are much more likely to die from homicides (there were 1,865 in 2016, according to government data), drowning (995) or even fires and burns (340).
The numbers are all the more remarkable because respiratory diseases typically hit the young and the old hard, and children are often highly vulnerable to infectious disease. In this way, covid-19 is similar to the flu, which killed an estimated 24,000 to 62,000 people last winter, but 188 people age 17 and below. (That was a record high for that age group, however.)