COVID SCIENCE: Long lasting COVID-19 effects seen in children

Reuters

Posted at Feb 02 2021 08:09 AM

"Long COVID" - a term that refers to effects of the virus that linger for weeks or months - may be a problem for children, too, a small study suggests. 

Doctors at a large Italian hospital tracked 129 children and teens with COVID-19 who were otherwise generally healthy. 

At an average of about five months after their diagnosis, only about 42% had completely recovered. 

Roughly one in three youngsters still had one or two symptoms and more than one in five had three or more, according to a report posted on Tuesday on medRxiv ahead of peer review. 

The most common persistent problems were insomnia (reported by 18.6%), respiratory symptoms including pain and chest tightness (14.7%), nasal congestion (12.4%), fatigue (10.8%), muscle pain (10.1%), joint pain (6.9%), and concentration difficulties (10.1%). 

Although these issues were more common in children who had been obviously sick, they also developed in infected youths with few or no symptoms initially. 

There is increasing evidence that restrictive measures aimed at curbing the pandemic are significantly impacting childrens' mental health, the researchers acknowledge. 

Still, their findings suggest, the potential long-term effects COVID-19 can have on children should be considered when developing measures to reduce the impact of the pandemic on their overall health. 

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