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Covid rate higher in marginalised, disadvantaged children: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 07, 2020 Published on August 07, 2020

There is a stark difference in caseloads according to different racial and ethnic groups

A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics has found that children from the marginalised sections and poor socio-economic status have significantly higher rates of coronavirus.

Study researcher Monika Goyal from the Children’s National Hospital in the US said in a statement: “Some possible reasons may be socio-economic factors that increase exposure, differences in access to health care and resources, as well as structural racism.”

The researchers analysed 1,000 patients at a Covid-19-testing site affiliated with Children’s National in the US. They found that there is a stark difference in caseloads according to different racial and ethnic groups.

Around 30 per cent of non-Hispanic Black and 46 per cent of Hispanic children were positive for the virus. This percentage remains abysmally low in non-Hispanic white children that stood at 7 per cent.

“You’re going from about one in 10 non-Hispanic white children to one in three nonHispanic Black children and one in two Hispanic children. It’s striking,” said Dr Goyal.

The researchers used the data from the American Families Survey to compartmentalise the group of 1,000 patients as per the income level of the families they belonged to.

Marked disparities

They found marked disparities in Covid-19 positivity rates by income levels: while those in the highest quartile had infection rates of about nine per cent, about 38 per cent of those in the lowest quartile were infected.

“There were additional disparities in exposure status. Of the 10 per cent of patients who reported known exposure to Covid-19, about 11 per cent of these were non-Hispanic white. However, non-Hispanic Black children were triple this number,” the authors mentioned in their study.

The researchers are now analysing the reason behind such wide disparities and how can these be mitigated.

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Published on August 07, 2020
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