The Balearic health ministry has pointed to a notable increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases among young people up to the age of 18 (inclusive). Between the first of August and Tuesday this week, these were 13.5% of all cases. The figure for the whole of July was 15.5%. In April, by way of comparison, it was 1.9%.
The ministry has not provided details as to age and nor has it stated if children have needed to be admitted to hospital. The IB-Salut paediatrics coordinator, Marga Cañellas, says that children of any age are susceptible to infection but that paediatric cases are, to date, "scarce".
Based on available information, children are less frequently diagnosed with having Covid-19 and they also have milder symptoms. A specialist in preventive medicine and public health, Joan Carles March, has explained that studies show that children under the age of ten are infected less.
Cañellas draws attention to data for the whole of the country. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 14,664 positive cases among children below the age of 15. This is approximately one per cent of all cases. Of these positive cases, 198 have needed to be admitted to hospital; ten in intensive care units. The only two deaths of paediatric age have been of children under the age of two.
She adds that the real paediatric age incidence is not known. This is because "at present there has not been enough representation of the paediatric population in diagnostic test sampling". It has been shown that most confirmed cases have been secondary to their exposure to family contacts, while it has also been demonstrated that there is a transmission period of up to 21 days from asymptomatic children.