Back to school: The latest on COVID-19 and kids

Dr. Jen Ashton on how the virus affects young kids and teens.
2:10 | 08/06/20

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Transcript for Back to school: The latest on COVID-19 and kids
Some of the major developments we're tracking. Confirmed coronavirus cases around the world closing in on 169 million with more than 707,000 deaths globally. Cases in the hard hit U.S. Climb towards the 5 million mark. With me starting things off ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton. Dr. Jen, we know it's that time of year. Students heading back to school in several states. Others preparing to do so. There's so much anxiety about children and how this virus affects them. What do we know? At this point, Amy, this is a special population we're learning more and more about literally every single day. Here's what the data shows us thus far. In general when you talk about the pediatric age group, 0-18, they're at lower risk. That doesn't mean zero risk. According to the American academy of pediatrics, they estimate the risk of hospitalization in this age group ranges from just over .5% to 9% and the risk of death according to the CDC is less than 1-1,000. Two important qualifiers here, when you hear stats about kids -- these are not numbers. These are lives. Very important to keep that in mind. Mathematically even a small percentage of a large population can add up to a significant number. That's an important distinction. There are a lot of unknowns, theories about kids and this virus. What are those? In terms of medicine and science recently published data has outlined or defined a couple key theories here. These are unknowns. There does seem to be or suggest there's a difference between different ages with a cut-off being at 10 years of age in terms of chances of getting infected and the severity of disease if they get infected. It appears, or there are hints, that younger children may actually be less susceptible. Again, how often are kids or teenagers spreading the virus to that's a big unknown. There's a lot in terms of medicine and science we're still learning in real time. Dr. Jen, thank you. We'll turn to ABC's Kyra

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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