COVID-19 deaths reveal alarming disparity among young people

Another CDC study revealed children who get the virus in daycare settings can spread it to family members.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Contact tracing at three daycare facilities offers new insight into how easily children spread coronavirus. And COVID-19 has exposed disparities in society and within the healthcare system. Now, new studies reveal this troubling trend in children and young adults.

A new CDC study finds Latino, Black, and Native Americans under the age of 21 make up a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths in this age group. While these groups make up 41% of the population, they accounted for 78% of the young deaths studied.

Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Chad Vercio with the Riverside University Health System looked at a study of 121 children, adolescents and young adults who died from COVID-19.

"What we do know is that there are certain things that would increase the likelihood of getting COVID," he said. "75% of the individuals that died had underlying health conditions."

Vercio said genetics may also play a role, but young people in minority populations may have higher risks of exposure.

"They were more likely to live in high density areas and they were more likely to be essential workers," he said.

Another CDC study revealed children who get the virus in daycare settings can spread it to family members. This small study of daycare facilities in Utah contradicts previous findings.

"It does seem like those under ten spread less, but this study adds another piece of the picture. It shows kids under ten are still able to spread it to their siblings and their parents," said Vercio.

Most of the kids had mild symptoms. Three were asymptomatic. Researchers estimate the kids spread it to one in four people outside the daycare centers.

The study underscores close surveillance as a key strategy.

"It would be really important for organizations, for schools and day care centers to be able to assess through contact tracing the risk of any individual that comes in contact with somebody who has Covid," said Vercio.

Not all the daycare centers in the study enforced mask wearing. The CDC recommends that every person over the age of 2 should wear masks to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks.

Sickest COVID-19 patient at CHOC Children's finally leaves ICU after 57 days
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Doctors at CHOC Children's in Orange County say 14-year-old Agustina Rojas was the sickest COVID-19 patient they've ever had. The Placentia teen was near death twice, but she beat the virus and is now at home after spending 57 days in the ICU.

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