News Brief by Kip Hansen – 4 September 2020
It is easier just to show the numbers in graphic form. These are the latest figures from the CDC.
We look at All Cause Deaths first, so we have an idea of the magnitudes of general pediatric deaths in the U.S. The horizontal axis is the Week Number of the pandemic period. We just completed Week 34.
Teenagers and College-age kids die the most from all causes, at a rate of 500-800 per week. But you see even Total All Cause Deaths for this age group taper downward after 1 June 2020 (thin vertical yellow line). Under 1’s, infants, are the next most likely to die – this includes all the preemies and low-birth weight babies – infant-hood is a delicate time. Once kids get through their first year, they are pretty tough – and the Total All Cause Deaths for 1-4 and 5-14 are similar and relatively small and steady over the time period shown (the period of the U.S. Covid Pandemic).
How many kids are dying from (or even just with) Covid-19? Almost none.
Over the entire course of the U.S. Covid-19 Pandemic, as of 20 August 2020, only 337 of the reported “180,000” Covid deaths in the U.S. were persons under 25 years of age. If we look at the age group more consistent with the concept of children – we see that only 62 kids 14 and under actually died from and/or with Covid-19. Only 17 infants, Under 1.
Of course, one wishes that no kids ever had to die from anything but they do.
In 2017, the last year with finalized figures, an average of 430 Under 1’s died every week from various causes. This year, during – and in spite of — the pandemic, Under 1’s are running much lower than that. [ see All Cause chart above ]
Even the 14-25 year-olds seem to be coming down off of their higher summer death rate. Notice that the All Cause and the Covid graphs for 14-25 year-olds are different shapes. Deaths from-and-with Covid are not the cause of the rising All Cause graph for this group for weeks 0 through 23 – Covid is adding less than 25 deaths per week even in peak weeks.
Remember, all these numbers are not actual deaths, they are ICD-10 Cause of Death codes reported on death certificates sent to the CDC. Thus they will differ from real world counts of the causes of death for these kids. With pediatric Covid deaths, there are so few that they could be closely researched individually to arrive at a true number. This point is important when you hear some pundit say something like “only 6% of reported Covid deaths were caused by Covid”. That is a false representation of the CDC data.
That’s the news brief – just to keep the journalists and pundits honest.
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My father was a pediatrician – a “baby doctor”. Every mother in our suburban Los Angles neighborhood knew where the doctor lived and our house was the “neighborhood emergency room” for all health and accident problems involving kids. I can’t tell you how many kids got stitches put in on our living room coffee table and how many times my brothers and I were called upon to be minor-surgery assistants. The mothers generally had to be taken to another room and served coffee as they were usually panicked by all the blood.
Growing up in such a home meant getting used to the idea of kids dying. And they did, rather a lot of them in those days when antibiotics were just coming into the forefront after WWII. Kids died from all sorts of things that are unthinkable in today’s Western societies. “During the 1950s an annual average of greater than 500,000 cases of measles and nearly 500 deaths due to measles were reported in the United States.“ [ source ] And that’s just measles. Our modern kids are vaccinated against almost all the “childhood illnesses” that nearly every child experienced as a matter of course when I was young.
And kids still die from the annual flu. 2016-2017 = 110 flu deaths. 2017-2018 = 188 flu deaths. 2018-2019 = 144 flu deaths. 2019-2020 = 188 flu deaths. [ source ].
Covid-19 – not so much. Even with Covid-Death-Inflation, Covid-19 is sparing the children – for which we should be grateful.
Read more – Read widely – Read critically
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