Experts don't believe it causes more severe illness in children than the earlier viruses. However, delta has caused an increase in infection among children due to its contagious nature.
Delta's spreadability makes it more dangerous for children. Dr. Juan Dumois is a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital St. Petersburg, Florida.
According to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association, the weekly infection rate among U.S. children topped 250,000 earlier this month. This is higher than the winter peak. More than 5 million children have been tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization, at least 180 countries have identified the delta variant. Many of these countries have seen an increase in the number of hospitalizations for young children and teens due to the rise in infections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 in the U.S. was less than 2 per 100,000 kids in late August and early September. This is similar to last winter's peak. However, the proportion of children hospitalized for severe illness hasn't decreased.
Although it may seem that children are becoming more sickened by the delta variant due to its sheer number, experts disagree. The majority of infected children do not require hospitalization and have mild to no symptoms.
COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide protection against delta. CDC data shows that among children aged 12 and over, who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, the weekly hospitalization rate for July was 10x higher for those who were not vaccinated than for those who had received the shots.