The one thing that has been often reported since the COVID-19 outbreak began more than a year ago, is that children are suspectible to the disease.

However, the situation is now grimmer, with many healthy, young children around the world reportedly becoming seriously ill from the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

The number of very sick children being admitted into paediatric units in US hospitals have increased multiple folds in just a matter of weeks - no thanks to the highly transmissible variant, and the fact that a huge population of Americans are yet to be vaccinated, said reports.

"This Delta variant is an infectious disease specialist's worst nightmare," an infectious disease reportedly said.

Children with serious COVID-19 infections also stand the risk of developing multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, known as MIS-C, which results in dangerous inflammation around the heart and other organs, weeks after the initial infection.

In Indonesia, more than 700 children - half of them under the age of five, have died from COVID-19 since May.

As the country's official death toll exceeded 100,000, experts said that one in eight of those infected by the Delta variant are children.

The Delta strain was first detected in India in October last year, and is now the dominant strain around the world, including in Malaysia. It is more contagious than the MERS virus, ebola, the common cold, the seasonal flu and smallpox, and as transmissible as chickenpox.

According to reports, the viral load of those infected with the Delta variant is also up to 1,260 times greater than the original coronavirus variant which appeared in Wuhan last year.

Delta can also infect a larger group of people in a short span of time. Precisely, infections can happen within 15 seconds when the virus is airborne, compared to previous strains of the virus which could pass on from an infected person to other individuals in a span of 15 minutes in distances of one-metre apart.

The strain also has a far higher infectiviti rate (RT) of between 5 and 8, compared to its predecessor's 2.5 to 3.

This means for every 100 people infected, it could spread to 500 to 800 others.

The world's coronavirus infection and death tally has surpassed 203 million, and 4.3 million, respectively.

Photo source: NBC News