U.S. experts argue that there is no stronger evidence that the Delta variant makes children and adolescents sicker than previous variants. This is true even though delta can lead to an increase in infections in children because it is highly contagious.
The potential of the Delta variant is more easily spread, making it dangerous for children and emphasizing the need to wear masks in schools and vaccinating those who are old enough, dR Juan Dumois is a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In early September, the number of infections in American children exceeded 250,000 per week, more than last winter’s peak, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association. Since the outbreak, more than 5 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19.
Very mild infections
According to the World Health Organization, the Delta variant has been identified in at least 180 countries. In many of them, hospitalizations in children and adolescents also increased as infections increased.
These figures may give the impression that children with the Delta variant are getting sick, but experts do not seem to. Most children who receive the Delta variant have asymptomatic or mild infections and do not need to be hospitalized.
In the United States, the hospital rate for COVID-19 was less than 2 per 100,000 children in late August and early September, similar to last winter’s peak, according to the Center for Control and Prevention of Diseases (CDC). But there has been no big change in the proportion of children hospitalized with serious illness.
COVID-19 vaccines continue to protect the delta variant. According to CDC data, children aged 12 and over – those eligible for vaccination – have a weekly hospital rate of 10 times higher than those not vaccinated in July.