American Indians, Alaska Natives Who Tested Covid-19 Positive Tend To Be Younger

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC found that American Indians and Alaska Natives are among the racial and ethnic minority groups at highest risk from COVID-19 in the U.S.. They are also likely to be infected by the coronavirus at a younger age compared to white non-Hispanic individuals.

The study shows the cumulative incidence of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases was three-and-a-half times higher among AI/AN individuals compared to non-Hispanic whites in 23 U.S. states.

The data also showed that AI/AN individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 tended to be younger than white non-Hispanic individuals with COVID-19 infection.

12.9 percent of the coronavirus infections in AN/AI individuals were in people under 18 years of age, compared to 4.3 percent in non-Hispanic whites. However, in people aged 65 years or older, only 12.6 percent of AI/AN individuals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, compared to 28.6 percent in whites.

According to the CDC, some of the factors for the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in AI/AN populations may be the persisting racial inequity and historical trauma that contributed to disparities in health and socioeconomic factors compared to the white population. The state also might reflect differences in reliance on shared transportation, limited access to running water and household size.

The CDC said it has provided more than $200 million in COVID-19 funding to Indian Country to address the COVID-19 health disparities. The funding will support tribes and tribal organizations to carry out COVID-19 preparedness and response activities.

The CDC funding exceeds the $165 million directed by Congress through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriation Act, 2020, as well as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act.

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