Covid-19 cases among children are surging across the world amid delta-fueled outbreaks, spurring hospitalizations and raising concern about the risk of severe illness and persistent “long hauler” symptoms. It’s also prompted questions about the safety of schools.
In the U.S., as of Sept. 16, more than 5.5 million children and adolescents had tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. That represents 15.7% of all cases, though individuals under 18 make up 22.2% of the U.S. population. However, after declining in early summer, pediatric cases have increased exponentially and comprise a higher share of the total -- 25.7% in the week ending Sept. 16, or almost 226,000 cases. That surge, coinciding with increased circulation of the delta variant, has translated into more Covid-related hospitalizations among children and adolescents, although serious cases remain proportionately rare.