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10 More Children Catch COVID-19: New Hampshire Update

CONCORD, NH — The state of New Hampshire crossed over the 500,000 polymerase chain reaction test threshold Monday with another 65 residents, including 10 children, contracting COVID-19, according to state health officials.

After collecting nearly 4,900 specimens Sunday and waiting on nearly 900 test results, the State Joint Information Center reported a 1.2 percent positivity rate for Monday. About a third of the new positives came from antigen tests while the rest were polymerase chain reaction tests. The state has collected 503,076 PCR tests while testing 295,921 people.

Currently, there are 738 Granite Staters who have the virus, 9,208 accumulative cases, and 8,014 recoveries. Seventeen remain hospitalized receiving more extensive case and more than half of the new cases were male.

Of the new infections, 22 live in Rockingham County, 12 live in Nashua, 10 live in Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua, and two live in Merrimack County.

Nashua has the most active cases — 96, following by Bedford and Manchester with 89, and Warner with 36. Merrimack has 19 cases and Salem has 13. Hampton has 11 with Amherst, Exeter, and Londonderry at nine, and Concord, Portsmouth, and Windham have eight. North Hampton has five cases Milford has between one and four active cases.

Approximately 3,500 people are under public health monitoring.

Because of new cases, Belknap County has moved from minimal community transmission to moderate on the community level transmission metrics data page. The entire state of New Hampshire is in the moderate category due to 66.5 cases per 100,000 during the past two weeks. The seven-day PCR counts and hospitalization rates are still in the minimal section statewide. Both Manchester and Nashua are in the substantial metrics category.

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New K-12 school infections including one case at the Paul A. Smith Elementary School in Franklin, a second new case at Londonderry Senior High School, the first case at Franklin High School, and the first case at the Granite State Arts Academy Charter School. The Ellis School in Fremont also has its second case and the Chester Academy has its second case, too.

According to the state’s data dashboard, 57 K-12 schools have active student or staff positive test results.

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Stop The Spread Of COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus is spread through respiratory droplets, usually through coughing and sneezing, and exposure to others who are sick or might be showing symptoms.

Health officials emphasize residents should follow these recommendations:

  • Avoid any domestic and international travel, especially on public transportation such as buses, trains, and airplanes.

  • Practice social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet from other people, including distancing while in waiting areas or lines.

  • When you can’t practice 6 feet of social distancing, wear a face covering.

  • Anyone who is told to self-quarantine and stay at home due to exposure to a person with confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 needs

Even as the Economy Grew, More Children Lost Health Insurance

The share of children with health coverage in the United States fell for the third consecutive year in 2019, according to census data, after decades of increases.

The decline occurred during a period of economic growth — before the coronavirus pandemic caused broad job losses that might have cost many more Americans their health insurance.

A report Friday by the Georgetown Center for Children and Families found that the ranks of uninsured children grew the most in Texas and Florida, and that Latino children were disproportionately affected. Nationally, the number of children without health insurance rose by 320,000 last year alone, to a total of nearly 4.4 million children, the report found.

“What’s so troubling about this data is we were making so much progress as a country,” said Joan Alker, the center’s executive director and an author of the report. “And now that progress is clearly reversing.”

The picture since the start of the pandemic is less clear. Many families have lost jobs that came with health coverage, which could increase the number of children without insurance. But national enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has also swelled, aided by temporary policies to prevent families from losing coverage during the emergency. More current estimates for the uninsured rates among children will take time.

In recent years, falling enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP drove the overall changes, according to the report. Although those programs for low- and middle-income children are primarily managed by state governments, Trump administration policies could be playing a role: The administration has encouraged states to check eligibility more often, which advocacy groups say has caused many families to lose coverage because of paperwork errors and missed deadlines.

And the administration’s policies on immigrant families have caused some to end enrollment for their children even though they are eligible citizens, according to child welfare groups in several states with the largest drops. In particular, the “public charge” rule makes it harder for immigrants to be approved for green cards if they have received public benefits or are deemed likely to receive them in the future.

“They were coming to me saying: ‘Please close my case. I don’t want to get into any trouble,’” said Graciela Camarena, outreach program director in the Rio Grande Valley for the Texas branch of the Children’s Defense Fund, a group that helps enroll children in health coverage. Ms. Camarena said most clients would not be affected by the public charge policy if they signed up their children, but news of the rule had produced widespread concern.

COVID-19 is affecting New York’s children, but not the way you think

Photo of Jessica Marshall

Medical experts agree that the novel coronavirus does not pose as large a threat to children as it does to adults and those with underlying conditions. The American Academy of Pediatrics says children account for only 10 percent of COVID-19 cases nationally, and of those, a much lower percentage require hospitalization than their adult counterparts.

However, the pandemic is having a devastating effect on children. A recent study from the United Hospital Fund and Boston Consulting Group estimates that more than 4,200 children in New York have lost a parent or guardian to COVID-19, leaving many rudderless and more often than not in poverty.

Times Union reporter Bethany Bump took an in-depth look at the new study and what we can learn from it on this episode of The Eagle: A Times Union Podcast.

Also on this episode of The Eagle:

The Eagle: A Times Union Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and other popular podcast apps.


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Musical training boosts attention, working memory in children

Oct. 8 (UPI) — New research out of Chile suggests kids that play musical instruments, regularly practicing and performing, benefit from improved attention and working memory.

For the study, published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, researchers measured attention control and auditory encoding processes in the brains of musically trained children and a control group of children.

“There were no differences between groups in age, IQ and parental education, a proxy of socioeconomic status,” lead study author Leonie Kausel, a violinist and neuroscientist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, told UPI in an email.

“This is important, because these three factors are known to have an influence on the functioning of executive functions,” said Kausel, a neuroscientist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, who also plays violin.

All of the musically trained children, ages 10 to 13, had been playing an instrument for at least two years and practiced at least two hours per week.

Researchers had the two groups of children perform tasks that tested their auditory-visual attention and working memory. Functional magnetic resonance imaging allowed scientists to detect small changes in blood flow within the brain as the children performed the tasks.

Study participants were asked to focus on either one, both or neither of two stimuli: a visual abstract figure and a short melody. The stimuli were presented simultaneously for four seconds.

Two seconds later, the children were replayed various stimuli and asked if they recognized them. The replayed stimuli were sometimes the same as the original stimuli and other times novel.

Children who played and practiced musical instruments more accurately recognized the stimuli and had faster reaction times.

The fMRI images helped scientists identify two main neural mechanisms explaining the difference in attention and working memory performance: a domain-general attention mechanism and a domain-specific auditory encoding mechanism.

“The domain-general attention mechanism controls our attentional resources and is used when we pay attention to something — independent of what we pay attention to, for example, stimuli in different sensory modalities,” Kausel said. “So in our study this mechanism seems to play a role in the encoding of both visual and auditory stimuli.”

“The domain-specific auditory encoding mechanism on the other hand is more specific to support auditory encoding, independent of whether you are paying attention to the auditory stimuli or not,” Kausel said.

By asking participants to pay attention or not pay attention to one or both of the stimuli, and imaging the resulting brain activity, researchers were able to isolate the different neural mechanisms.

“When you subtract the activity from paying attention minus not paying attention, the ‘difference’ can be attributed to the cognitive process of paying attention or encoding of the stimuli,” Kausel said.

The tests revealed higher activity of the fronto-parietal attention control network in the musically trained group of children. There was also higher functioning of the phonological loop, the inferior frontal gyrus and supramarginal gyrus, among the instrument-playing children.

While the latest study showed a correlation between the two

Black children twice as likely to die after surgery than White children

Black children are more than twice as likely as White kids to die from surgical complications, and minority children are about half as likely to even have surgery as white children, two new studies show.

In one study, researchers found that of nearly 277,000 children who had inpatient surgery between 2012 and 2017, 10,425 suffered a complication that required follow-up surgery and 209 subsequently died.

Of those deaths, 135 patients were White — 1.6% of all White children who suffered a complication — and 74 were Black — 3.7% of all Black children who suffered a complication.

“We don’t fully understand all of the issues that place a Black child at greater risk and how all of these issues interact with each other,” said study author Dr. Brittany Willer, a pediatric anesthesiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio.

“Our study gives physician anesthesiologists and surgeons insight into those at highest risk, to heighten their awareness of the most vulnerable patients during the early postoperative period, which may have the biggest immediate impact on easing racial disparities,” Willer added.

In the second study, researchers analyzed U.S. National Health Interview Survey data on more than 227,000 children aged 18 or younger, including more than 11,000 who had inpatient or outpatient surgery in the previous 12 months.

After adjusting for factors such as the health of the child, poverty, insurance and the parents’ level of education, the researchers found that Black, Asian and Hispanic children were about half as likely as White children to have surgery.

The findings were presented Saturday at the virtual annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

There’s no evidence to suggest that White children are more likely to require surgery or to have cosmetic procedures — factors that might have helped explain the large difference, according to the researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

“All parents want the best medical care for their children, and ensuring that quality surgical care is available for minority as well as White children will require a multifaceted solution,” lead author Dr. Ethan Sanford, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain management, said in a meeting news release. “Clearly, we have a lot of work to do.”

More information

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia explains how to prepare your child for surgery.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Serious coronavirus-related inflammatory condition among children now reported in adults: CDC

A rare but serious coronavirus-related inflammatory condition in children was also recently identified among adults, per a report released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) usually involves shock, heart malfunction, stomach pain and hyperinflammation. The CDC drew on reports of 27 adult patients to describe a new, similar condition —  multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A).

RARE CORONAVIRUS-LINKED SYNDROME AFFECTS 11 CHILDREN IN WASHINGTON STATE: OFFICIALS

“These 27 patients had cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and neurologic symptoms without severe respiratory illness and concurrently received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2…,” per the report. Fortunately, the vast majority (24 of 27) of MIS-A patients survived, which was said to mirror outcomes seen in MIS-C patients treated in intensive health care settings.

There is still much unknown over MIS-A, with a deal of uncertainty over the timeline from SARS-CoV-2 infection to MIS-A onset, but the report suggests “MIS-A and MIS-C might represent postinfectious processes.” Adults who reported typical COVID-19 symptoms went on to develop MIS-A about two to five weeks later.

Patients with MIS-A may not test positive for COVID-19, given the onset of the syndrome weeks later. The agency emphasized the importance of antibody testing for previous SARS-CoV-2 infection to recognize and treat MIS-A.

Of the 27 MIS-A patients included in the report, 30% of them, along with “45% of 440 children with MIS-C reported to CDC through July 29,” tested negative for current SARS-CoV-2 infection but had positive antibody results.

There is still much unknown over MIS-A, a newly identified coronavirus-related complication in adults that had previously been reported among children. (iStock)

There is still much unknown over MIS-A, a newly identified coronavirus-related complication in adults that had previously been reported among children. (iStock)

WHAT IS DEXAMETHASONE, THE NEWEST DRUG IN TRUMP’S COVID-19 TREATMENT?

The criteria used to identify MIS-A include severe illness requiring hospitalization in patients over age 21; current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past 12 weeks; severe dysfunction of one or more organs other than the lungs; lab evidence of severe inflammation and a lack of severe respiratory illness.

Patients were mostly treated with corticosteroids among other treatments like vasopressors (to raise blood pressure) or blood thinners.

The report also noted that “all but one” of the patients in the report were among racial or ethnic minorities, adding that “MIS-C has also been reported disproportionately in these communities.” However, due to the small sample size, the CDC said more research is needed before making conclusions about the burden of MIS-A in various groups.

“Findings indicate that adult patients of all ages with current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection can develop a hyperinflammatory syndrome resembling MIS-C,” authors wrote, adding that measures to limit COVID-19 spread may help prevent MIS-A.

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EPA faces decision on chemical linked to brain damage in children

When Claudia Angulo was pregnant with her son, she often felt nauseated and experienced vomiting and headaches. 

She didn’t think much of it, until after she learned her son had Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder and difficulties with language and learning. 

Angulo said she later discovered that a chemical she had been exposed to through her job — which involved taste-testing produce before it was washed — has been associated with health risks including brain damage in children. 

“At the time that I was pregnant, in the company there were like 10 women that were pregnant and of those 10 women, seven of their kids were born with [health] problems,” she told The Hill in an interview conducted in Spanish. 

And they’re not alone. 

Studies have linked prenatal exposure to the chemical, called chlorpyrifos, to neurodevelopmental issues including lower IQ and impaired working memory. 

Chlorpyrifos is used to prevent insects from affecting a variety of crops like berries, citrus fruits, vegetables and nuts. It’s currently banned for most residential uses but is still used in agriculture and there are several ways farmworkers can be exposed to it including through handling and applying it as well as experiencing drift from other nearby farms. 

In 2015, the Obama administration proposed banning its use on food and crops. However, in 2017, then-EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittAnother toxic EPA cookbook Juan Williams: Swamp creature at the White House Science protections must be enforceable MORE reversed course, saying that further study was warranted. 

“We are returning to using sound science in decision-making — rather than predetermined results,” he said at the time.

The EPA now is weighing whether to propose a ban. 

Last week, in assessing risks presented by the chemical, the EPA said that “despite several years of study, the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects remains unresolved.”

Advocates fear that this is a signal that the agency won’t ban the substance.

“It seems to signal that they’re going to not ban it because back in 2016 when they did a different risk assessment and found that there was risk, then they started the process to ban it,” said Iris Figueroa, an attorney with Farmworker Justice, a group currently suing in favor of a ban. 

“It logically follows, although it’s not for certain, the fact that they’re saying the stuff is unresolved means that they’re moving toward a different sort of decision than the one that they took just three years ago,” Figueroa added. 

An EPA spokesperson said in an email on Friday that its forthcoming proposal on what to do about chlorpyrifos “will outline potential risk management options to address any potential risks of concern” that were identified in the risk assessments.

The spokesperson said that the agency “has undertaken considerable efforts to assess the available chlorpyrifos data, providing a detailed discussion of the strengths and uncertainties associated with the epidemiology studies.”

The official particularly pointed to a major study from Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) saying that “although EPA

Children will not likely see a coronavirus vaccine until late 2021: Experts

While drug companies and governments around the world are in an all-out sprint to develop a coronavirus vaccine for adults, the race to identify one that is safe and effective for children lags far behind, meaning America’s youngest may not be vaccinated until late next year, health experts told ABC News.

Despite recent evidence that children may play a larger role in the community spread of COVID-19, experts say the delay is appropriate, because a vaccine should be tested in adults first to ensure it’s safe and effective before being tested in children.

“We wouldn’t start injecting five-year-olds before we knew what this vaccine did in adults,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

“Kids are not little adults, they have very different immune systems, and you might need to have a completely different kind of vaccine for kids,” said Dr. Anita McElroy, a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “And we’re just so at this point so far behind the power curve, we’re at the very beginning of any kind of vaccine against COVID [so] that to think we could just take one that works in adults and put it in kids and assume it’s going to work fine is actually a foolish thing to do.”

Dr. John Brownstein, a Harvard Medical School professor and ABC News contributor, said there are simply “a lot of things we have to understand” from dosage to learning from safety studies, “so those take time before you can start ramping up and looking at a broader population of kids.”

Still, in a letter to federal health officials this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics called for the inclusion of children in research on potential COVID-19 vaccines, saying that “beyond the direct impact of infection, children have been greatly affected by the pandemic.”

“Children must be included in vaccine trials to best understand any potential immune responses and/or unique safety concerns,” AAP President Dr. Sally Goza wrote.

Dr. Steven Joffe, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said that currently, “none of the major trials in the U.S. are enrolling kids.” The exception is Pfizer, which recently announced it would expand its trials but only to enroll 16- and 17-year-olds.

Three vaccine groups told ABC News that they plan to schedule pediatric trials once the vaccine for adults is rolled out. Dr. Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, said in an interview with WTOP in mid-September that adults who are in the high-risk category could be getting a vaccine in December or at the beginning of the year.

Johnson & Johnson, one of the groups that entered the late-stage trial testing its adult coronavirus vaccine, is planning to include studies evaluating children, but will only move forward after data from adults is analyzed, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Moderna, a Massachusetts based biotechnology company, is hoping

U.S. stops holding migrant children in hotels

The Trump administration has quietly stopped its controversial practice of holding migrant children in hotels before expelling them from the southern border, though it says these minors can still be quickly removed from U.S. soil under emergency coronavirus restrictions.



a group of palm trees on a street corner: Virus Outbreak Migrant Children Hotels


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Virus Outbreak Migrant Children Hotels

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not held migrant minors in border-area hotels since September 11, an agency spokesperson told CBS News on Thursday. The confirmation of the previously undisclosed policy shift follows a court declaration, signed on September 17, in which ICE official Mellissa Harper said the number of migrant minors who were awaiting expulsion at a hotel had dwindled to zero.

Nearly 9,000 migrant children expelled from U.S. amid pandemic

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Despite this shift, unaccompanied children and families with minors who cross or arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without documents — just like single adults — can still be expelled from the country under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directive issued in March, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson Matthew Dyman told CBS News on Thursday.

“The CDC order allows for everyone to be amenable to expulsion,” Dyman said. “Anyone can be infected with COVID.”

Taylor Levy, an independent immigration attorney in El Paso, said she continues to receive cases of unaccompanied children whom border officials seek to expel. On Thursday, Levy said she helped halt the expulsions of two Central American teenagers who are now going to be allowed to stay in the U.S. while their immigration cases are adjudicated.  

“The true problem here is not the hotels, it’s the expulsions,” Taylor told CBS News. “Just because DHS has stopped using hotels does not mean that children are not being expeditiously expelled without any due process, without any chance to seek asylum.”  

It is unclear why exactly U.S. immigration officials closed, at least temporarily, their unprecedented border hotel detention system for migrant children, which was overseen by personnel from MVM, an ICE contractor. ICE did not provide an explanation or say whether it would resume its use of hotels, saying in a statement it could not provide further comment due to ongoing litigation.

“Any temporary housing of minors will comply with all legal requirements,” an ICE spokesperson said.

On September 4, Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles ordered the Trump administration to stop holding migrant children in hotels, absent limited three-day stays, finding that the makeshift detention system violated the Flores Settlement Agreement, which stipulates that undocumented minors in U.S. custody need to have access to lawyers, safe and sanitary facilities and other safeguards while the government seeks their prompt release.

But that ruling is not in effect due to several orders by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has placed an administrative stay on Gee’s mandate. On Wednesday, a three-member panel of 9th Circuit judges extended the stay to next Monday.

During a hearing Wednesday, Judge Marsha Berzon, one of the members

Coronavirus Infection Rate Among Children Surges as Schools Reopen | Health News

The number of children infected with the coronavirus rose dramatically between April and September, according to new research by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, and by more than 14% in the last two weeks alone – a surge that coincides with schools reopening across the country.

“These rising numbers concern us greatly, as the children’s cases reflect the increasing virus spread in our communities,” Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement. “While children generally don’t get as sick with the coronavirus as adults, they are not immune and there is much to learn about how easily they can transmit it to others.”

Photos: Daily Life, Disrupted

TOPSHOT - A passenger in an outfit (R) poses for a picture as a security guard wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus stands nearby on a last century-style boat, featuring a theatrical drama set between the 1920s and 1930s in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei province on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Drawing on data from state health departments, researchers analyzed trends over five months in reported COVID-19 cases and found that the number of children infected rose from 2.2% of all cumulative reported cases nationwide in April to 10% of all cases in September.

Notably, in the last eight weeks, children represented between 12% and 16% of newly reported cases each week, according to the study. In the two-week span of Sept. 10 to Sept. 24, more than 75,000 new child cases were reported – a 14% increase in child cases over two weeks.

As of Sept. 24, officials reported 624,890 cases of COVID-19 in children, which represents 10.5% of all cases.

The new figures come on the heels of reporting by the New York Times that found top White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to play down the risk of sending children back to school and pushed public health experts there to use alternate data showing that the pandemic posed little danger to children.

Hospitalizations and serious infections among children are still rare, despite the surge in cases: As of Sept. 10, children represented 1.7% of total hospitalizations and 0.07% of total deaths. Just 0.01% of child cases resulted in death.

The study found substantial variation in case growth by region: In April, a preponderance of cases were in the Northeast. In June, cases surged in the South and West, followed by mid-July increases in the Midwest.

Researchers underscored that the data is limited because states differ in how they report it, and it is unknown how many children have been infected but not tested. In addition, they said, it’s unclear how much of the increase in cases among children is due to increased testing capacity – though CDC data from public and commercial labs shows the share of all tests administered to children, about 5% to 7%, has remained stable since late April.

“We will continue to closely monitor children’s cases, with hopes of seeing the upward trend turn around,” Goza said. “We encourage parents to call their pediatricians and get their children into the office for well visits and vaccinations, especially now that some schools are reopening and flu season has arrived.”

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