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It is extremely rare for children to die from the coronavirus. As of mid-July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 228 children had died from the disease in the United States, less than 0.2% of deaths in the country at the time.
In California, more than 9,000 people have died from the virus today, and three-quarters were 65 and older. Only about 9% of the nearly half a million confirmed cases of the virus in California are children, and very few have suffered from conditions severe enough to be hospitalized, state data shows.
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Scientists still don’t know why children don’t seem to be as badly affected by the virus as adults.
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In March, Los Angeles County officials said a 17-year-old boy died from the virus. At the time, it was believed to be the first death of a child, but days later, local health officials reconsidered the original conclusion, saying it was possible that it was dead of something else. County health officials said the case should be evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control.
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Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, said the boy from his town died of septic shock after being admitted to hospital with respiratory problems.
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The likelihood of children contracting and spreading the virus is a key question, as leaders in California and elsewhere determine whether and how to safely reopen schools this fall. Most counties in California are now on a state watch list due to increased cases of the virus and cannot reopen schools for in-person instructions until they are on the list for 14 days.
Statewide, 96 deaths were reported on the last day, according to figures released Friday. Cases are still increasing by the thousands every day, but the curve seems to be flattening. The average number of new cases per day during the past week was 8,322, compared to 9,881 the previous week.
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The average percentage of people who tested positive fell to 6.5% in the past seven days, from 7.2% over 14 days.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday pledged additional support for the Central Valley, including $ 52 million in federal money for eight counties to improve testing and find places where people can self-isolate or quarantine if they are cannot do it at home. All eight counties, including Fresno and Kern, which are home to major cities, had positive test rates of between 11% and 18% at the start of the week.
For many people, the coronavirus does not cause any symptoms and for others only mild or moderate illness, such as fever and cough that goes away in two to three weeks. For some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause more serious illness, including pneumonia, and be fatal.
© 2020 The Canadian Press