Since early 2021 when the virus strain changed there have been increasing cases in children worldwide.
Unfortunately as Australia and NSW encounters the Delta strain of COVID-19 there are now cases of children with the COVID-19 virus and some older children getting more unwell.
The Delta variant is much more transmissible ie passed on to others , than the common cold or the "flu".
It spreads much more easily amongst household members. It is as infectious as Chickenpox.
In adults this strain causes much more severe disease, with infectious adults 2-3 x more likley to end up in hospital if not vaccinated.
Vaccination with COVID vaccines does reduce the illness severity , and transmission rate in adults.
From overseas the children under 18 that have been sicker have had underlying problems like severe lung disease, heart disease and obesity. That is one of the reasons that the Australian Technical Group on Immunisation has recommended targeted vaccination of at risk groups in ages 12-15 years.
There has also emerged a very rare complication in children with COVID-19 that presents 2-6 weeks after infection called Paediatric Inflammatory Multi-system Syndrome (PIMS). Clinical features include persistent fever, severe illness with involvement of multiple organ systems, and elevated inflammatory markers. It occurs in less than 1% of children infected with COVID.
Children have required ICU treatment and can get very sick. It appears similar to another childhood disease called Kawasaki disease.
See below for the latest news from www.health.gov.au about children and the delta variant of COVID-19.