PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - More children and teenagers in Arizona have become sick, been hospitalized or died of COVID-19 than in almost any other state which reports these statistics, according to a report by a national doctors group.

The latest report by the American Academy of Pediatrics contains data through August 20. It states:

  • 12 Arizona children and teens have died from the coronavirus. Only Texas had more deaths, with 18.
  • Arizona has the highest child and teen COVID-19 hospitalization rate of the 21 states that released data, with 4.6%.

  • Arizona has the second-highest number of infected children per capita, with 1,300 per 100,000. The overall rate, taking in every state, is 583 cases per 100,000.

On Monday, Governor Doug Ducey and Dr. Cara Christ, who is the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, both struggled to answer questions about why so many children in this state are becoming infected.

"There's likely a number of reasons for it. The good news is, while there are still anomalies, they (children) are in the category where, unless they have underlying health conditions they rebound pretty quickly," said Ducey.

Christ indicated the state's testing protocol may make it look like more children are sick, but the numbers are still in line with their proportion of the population.

"We also saw an increase recently because we've partnered with our school districts to try and get more testing of our families and their students," said Christ.

Morgan Loew's hard-hitting investigations can be seen weekdays on CBS 5 News at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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