COVID in children: Infections skyrocket 30X, now account for 30% of cases

A health care worker administers a COVID-19 test to a child at the Austin Regional Clinic drive-thru vaccination and testing site in Austin, Texas, US, on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.

Enlarge / A health care worker administers a COVID-19 test to a child at the Austin Regional Clinic drive-thru vaccination and testing site in Austin, Texas, US, on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

COVID-19 cases in children have risen 30-fold since late June and are now at record highs, with nearly 500,000 new child cases reported in the past two weeks, according to the latest data released by the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday. Pediatric cases have “increased exponentially,” the AAP said in a statement.

The rise coincides with a dramatic surge in overall COVID-19 transmission driven by the hypertransmissible delta variant. But with more adults vaccinated, children are getting hit harder in this wave than ever before, and they make up a larger and larger share of the cases.

At this point, the US has recorded 5.3 million cumulative cases in children, accounting for 15.5 percent of total cases in the pandemic. That percentage has risen steadily during the current surge, up from 14.2 percent at the end of June.

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