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COVID-19 and kids: rates of cases and outcomes in Clark County, NV for children aged 5 to 17

Based on data through . The charts and most of the figures are updated automatically shortly after the Southern Nevada Health District's reports are released (currently weekly on Wednesdays). Send feedback or questions to covidkids (at) labvegas.com, or to the author on Facebook or via twitter.

COVID-19 rates amongst kids (in green), and other ages (in black)
Since the start of the pandemicLast 6 months

Current COVID Risks for Children Ages 5 to 17 in Clark County, NV
Probability a child was confirmed infected the last week 1 in
Risk over the next 10 weeks, per child, if rates stay the same
Risk of at least 1 child in a classroom of 20 testing positive within 10 weeks
Rates amongst children in Clark County with a confirmed COVID-19 infection:
Hospitalizations 1 in ___
MIS-C (ages 0 to 17) (US rate: 1 in 964) 1 in ___
Deaths (_ in Clark County) (US rate: 1 in 7,677) 1 in ______
Home isolation, family and close contact quarantine 100%
Long term health issues, Long Covid, Cognitive impairment, etc. Unknown

Clark County reported that one out of every kids aged 5-17 was infected over the last week.

If that rate continues, of kids aged 5-17 will be infected in the next 10 weeks.

For a classroom of 20 students, there's a probability of at least one child in the class being infected over the next 10 weeks, assuming that is the rate of infections from outside of school.

The county's figures only include reported cases. There are likely to be several times as many unreported cases, as home rapid antigen tests aren't reported and asymptomatic cases might never get tested.

What's the risk, if a child 5-17 is infected?

Hospitalizations

To date, for 5-17 year olds, the county has reported hospitalizations out of cases reported. That's of cases, or 1 in cases. Chart of cumulative hospitalization rate for three youngest age groups in Clark County

MIS-C

The county has reported cases of MIS-C, out of covid cases aged 0 to 17. (The county does not break MIS-C cases down for ages 5 to 17. Some cases might also be older than 17, but MIS-C is less common over 17.) That's of covid cases, or 1 in covid cases. Nationwide, there were 4196 cases reported through June 28, 2021, out of approximately 4,000,000 reported cases, or 1 in 950.

Deaths

To date, for 5-17 year olds, the county has reported deaths out of cases. That's 1 in cases. With that number of deaths, there's considerable uncertainty in the actual risk. Nationally, as of 11/21/2021, there have been 645 reported deaths aged 5 to 17 out of 4,951,467 reported cases, or 1 in 7,677.

Long Covid and Long Term Health Issues

Research is ongoing on the frequency and severity of long-term health issues from COVID-19 pediatric cases. Since COVID-19 is a new disease, the long-term risk is unknown. As many as 1/3 of children, including some mild and asymptomatic cases, may continue to have lingering symptoms months after an infection.

See this Nature article for more on this subject: Long COVID and kids: scientists race to find answers

Although social distancing measures, school closures, and other measures adopted to slow the spread of COVID-19 could negatively impact children's education, there is also a possibility of long-term cognitive impairment from COVID-19 illnesses.

Here is one study: Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19

"This study confirms the hypothesis that individuals who have been infected with COVID-19 have persistent objectively measurable cognitive deficits..."

Schools are not just balancing the educational impairment of measures to combat COVID-19 against the short-term health risks of COVID-19. Schools are also balancing against longer-term health risks which can also result in educational impairment.

Home Isolation and Family Quarantine

Even asymptomatic cases will require home isolation for the infected child and quarantine for family members and likely time off from work for parents. While infectious, children should be isolated from other family members, including those fully vaccinated, to prevent further spread. Special attention should be paid to ventilation, to ensure that air from the sick child's room does not spread to other parts of the house occupied by others. (Air from the sick child's room should ideally be ventilated directly to the outside, creating a negative pressure.)

Compared to a case of the flu

COVID-19 spreads more easily than the seasonal flu, especially the Omicron vairant, and causes more severe illness and death. Amongst children, the level of risk from a COVID-19 infection is similar to the flu. (There is a lot of uncertainty in the estimates of the total number of COVID-19 and flu infections, as most cases of both are unreported.) However, COVID-19 is a new disease and we don't yet know the long-term effects.

Hospitalizations of children for COVID-19 tend to be longer than for the flu, and are more likely to result in ICU admission and invasive mechanical ventilation. CDC report: Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Children Aged 5 – 11 years

There are vaccines available for both the flu and COVID-19 but the effectiveness of the flu vaccine is lower. However, the COVID-19 vaccines have not been approved for children under 12 and and might not be approved until September October. Full vaccination will take several more weeks.

With both viruses, people can infect others before showing symptoms, and it is possible to spread the virus without ever showing symptoms.

Flu illnesses are much more serious than the common cold for children, and can cause serious illness, hospitalization, and even death. COVID-19 is similar but much more contagious, so even if COVID-19 was no more serious than the flu for children and there were no long-term risks, COVID-19 would still be a serious threat to children's health.

For more information, the CDC has an informative page on the similarities and differences between COVID-19 and the flu.

In the 2019-2020 Flu season, amongst 5-17 year olds, the CDC estimates there were 8,214,257 symptomatic cases, 4,271,413 medical visits (52% of cases), 22,523 hospitalizations (0.27%, or 1 in 365) and 180 deaths (1 in 45,600).

Are Delta cases more or less severe than ealier variants?

Several recent studies have shown that delta cases are much more likely to be severe or deadly than earlier COVID-19 variants, when adjusted for age. Clark County's death rate per case by age group has been approximately twice as high, since delta became predominant, except for the heavily-vaccinated 65+ age group. Since May 31 (roughly when the Delta variant became dominant in Clark County), amongst kids aged 5-17, there have been hospitalizations out of probable Delta cases. That's of cases, or 1 in Delta cases. It may take several days or weeks after a confirmed diagnosis before a child is hospitalized or dies from COVID-19, and an additional delay for the report to be transmitted to the Southern Nevada Health District, so the rate of hospitalization and death will be higher than currently reported.

Vaccination status of parents and household members, and outside activities

Whether parents or other household members are vaccinated (or have immunity from an earlier case of COVID-19) will likely have a significant effect on the risk of COVID-19 infection outside of school, as will other outside school activities. Although vaccinated people can still contract and spread COVID-19, the likelihood of transmission is lower. However, every additional member of your household and every outside contact increases your risk. The purpose of this discussion is to be aware of the risk of outside activities, not to discourage them altogether.

More Charts

More COVID-19 charts that focus on Clark County and the state of Nevada, including breakdowns by age, are available on this website here: labvegas.com/cvcharts

Another great source of charts for Nevada is The Nevada Independent's Coronavirus Data page, available at thenevadaindependent.com/coronavirus-data-nevada.

This website (and The Nevada Independent's) use data from the State of Nevada's COVID-19 dashboard.

Differences by zip codes

The health district reports cases by zip code of residence (but does not break the cases down by age within a zip code). Of course, people do not stay within their own zip codes and there can be variations within a single zip code, and larger statistical fluctuations than the rates in the entire county. Looking at a map of cases can be helpful in evaluating your own risk, but may increase the uncertainty. Map of COVID-19 rates by zip code in Clark County