Coming Up Thu 9:00 PM  AEDT
Coming Up Live in 
Punjabi radio

Is the coronavirus Delta variant easier for children to catch and more dangerous?

A child plays in the rose gardens in New Farm Park in Brisbane. Source: AAP

Queensland's latest COVID-19 outbreak is seeing more children infected, with the cluster linked to several schools. It's a trend that appears to be replicated around the world. But does that mean the Delta variant is more transmissible between children, and when so many aren't eligible for a vaccine, what can be done to protect them?

When COVID-19 first emerged, one less worry was that children were at lower risk of severe disease and death.

But with school students making up the majority of cases in Queensland's latest outbreak, some people are concerned that the Delta variant has a higher infection rate among children.

Does the increased visibility of cases among children mean they're more at risk, though?

Well, not exactly, says the Director of the Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program at the University of Melbourne, Professor Fiona Russell.

"There is a study that's shown that the viral load, so the amount of virus that you've got, is about a thousand times more for Delta. And so for any age group, for anyone that's got it, it will be more transmissible for anyone."

Director of Epidemiology at the Doherty Institute, Professor Jodie McVernon, says while it's concerning when children become infectious, it's really 20 to 39-year-olds who are the main transmitters.

She says part of the reason children appear to be making up a larger percentage of positive cases in some parts of the world is due to successful adult vaccination programs.

"Clearly in countries where there have been high levels of immunisation uptake, and where schools have been one of the more free social venues, we have seen many reports of increasing representation of children in the disease cases, and we would expect that within that context."


Click on the player above to listen to this feature in Punjabi.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at

Listen to SBS Punjabi Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


Coming up next

Is the coronavirus Delta variant easier for children to catch and more dangerous? 11/08/2021 09:31 ...
SBS Punjabi Australia News: Wednesday 27th Oct 2021 27/10/2021 10:00 ...
Australia to prioritise visitor visa processing for parents of citizens and permanent residents 27/10/2021 11:00 ...
Sydney-based Punjabi Sahitak Forum's new initiative sparks conversation on Sikh history and social issues 27/10/2021 13:00 ...
Skin cancer in Australia: What are the risks and how to protect yourself 27/10/2021 10:24 ...
Pakistan Diary: Not a good time for improving ties with India after World Cup thrashing, says PM Imran Khan 27/10/2021 07:35 ...
Sidhu Moosewala says 'Yes I Am A Student' sheds light on the plight of international students 27/10/2021 11:15 ...
New guidelines outline ways legal workplaces can improve cultural diversity 27/10/2021 09:00 ...
SBS Punjabi Australia News: Tuesday 26 Oct 2021 26/10/2021 11:15 ...
ਪੰਜਾਬੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਹਰਮਨ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਲੋਕ ਨਾਚ 26/10/2021 06:33 ...
View More