A total of 913 children and adolescents under the age of 18 years in the Northern Cape tested positive for Covid-19.
A TOTAL of 913 children and adolescents under the age of 18 years in the Northern Cape tested positive for Covid-19.
This is according to a report by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in its third Public Health Surveillance Bulletin, issued this week.
According to the figures supplied by the NICD, the 913 children who tested positive in the Province represent an incidence risk of 202.0 per 100 000 of the population as of August 17.
On this date, a total of 44 956 of the 589 886 laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 (7.6%) nationally were aged under 18 years.
The average age of the children and adolescents was 13 years, with 1,891 (4.3%) aged less than 1 year, 17,016 (37.9%) aged less than 15 years and 19,943 (44.9%) were female.
The majority of the cases were in five provinces – Eastern Cape (18.0%), Free State (6.9%), Gauteng (29.9%), KwaZulu-Natal (22.1) and Western Cape (11.4%).
Of the 1,568 Covid-19-associated admissions among children under 18 years, 122 (7.8%) were admitted to ICU and 48 (3.1%) were ventilated at some point during admission.
A total of 44 (2.8%) died during admission, although two of the 44 deaths were considered unrelated to Covid-19.
Of the 42 Covid-19-associated in-hospital deaths, 27 (64.3%) had underlying conditions, with diabetes mellitus and heart disease the most frequently reported among those who had underlying conditions and died in hospital.
According to the report, the cumulative incidence of laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 among persons under 18 years was 218 per 100 000 population. The cumulative incidence risk ranged from 45 per 100,000 in Limpopo to 303 per 100,000 population in Gauteng. The national weekly incidence risk among persons aged under 18 years increased from less than 1 per 100,000 in week 9 to a peak of 30 per 100,000 during weeks 25-27. Most provinces experienced peaks during the weeks 26-31 and all thereafter showed declining weekly incidence risks.
In summary, the NICD stated that children made up 7.6% of all laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases and 2.9% of Covid-19 associated hospital admissions in South Africa during the surveillance period.
Females of school-going age showed a higher cumulative incidence risk and proportion admitted to hospital.
The data also showed a declining incidence of new laboratory confirmed Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 associated admissions among children and adolescents in all provinces in recent weeks, reflecting national trends.
“The median age at admission was lower than that of diagnosed cases in general (7.4 years vs 13.0 years), suggesting that severe disease may be more common among younger children or that clinicians are more likely to admit younger children as a precaution.
Some of the Covid-19 associated admissions under one year were newborns and may have been admitted for birth-related complications rather than the Covid-19-related illness.” The overall in-hospital mortality was 2.7%, which is somewhat higher than has been reported in smaller hospital cohorts elsewhere – on average 0.2% in studies from Europe and China.5-9, according to the NICD.