COVID-19 deaths in children and people <21 years old in the US

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

Although children have lower risks from COVID-19, serious cases have been reported and a new paper reviews associated deaths in the US from February to July 2020.

This included 121 SARS-CoV-2–associated deaths: 12 (10%) were infants and 85 (70%) were aged 10–20 years. Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native persons accounted for a disproportionate number of deaths (78%) and 33% of deaths occurred outside of a hospital.

Of these, 30 (25%) were previously healthy, 91 (75%) had at least one underlying medical conditions, and 54 (45%) had two or more. The most frequently reported medical conditions were chronic lung disease, including asthma (28%), obesity (27%), neurologic and developmental conditions (22%), and cardiovascular conditions (18%).

People under 21 make up 26% of the US population, and although cases might be under-reported in this paper, this was 0.08% of the 190,000 overall COVID-19-related deaths during the same period.


Bixler D et al. SARS-CoV-2–associated Deaths among persons aged <21 years — United States, February 12–July 31, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 15 September 2020. DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6937e4

This report was first published on 16 September 2020.

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