Are children with symptoms of Covid-19 more at risk of long Covid? What a new study says

A new study has emerged which shows a link between children who suffered from Covid-19 infection later showing long-lasting Covid symptoms. The latest study conducted in eight countries and published in JAMA Network Open found that nearly 6% of children who had Covid-19 when they visited the emergency room (ED) later had symptoms of prolonged Covid. Additionally, long Covid was linked to a first hospitalization lasting 48 hours or more, having four or more symptoms present at the first hospital visit, and being 14 years of age or older. In particular, exhaustion or weakness, coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath in children were the most commonly reported chronic symptoms.

Lead researcher Stephen Freedman, MDCM, MSc from the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, “We found that in some children, illness with Covid-19 is associated with declaration of persistent symptoms after 3 months.” Freedman further noted that the latest findings imply the need for proper counseling and follow-up, especially for children who may be at high risk for prolonged Covid.

It is important to note that, for the study, 1,884 children with Covid-19 who had a 90-day follow-up were included in the study, of which almost 10% were hospitalized children and 5% children out. ER had long Covid.

Interestingly, another finding from the study stated that children who initially had multiple symptoms of Covid-19 were at higher risk for long Covid. Co-Principal Investigator Todd Florin, MD, MSCE, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said, “Our finding that children who initially had multiple symptoms of Covid-19 were at higher risk for a long time Covid is consistent with studies in adults Unfortunately, prolonged Covid in children has no known treatment, so further studies are needed. Crucial to treatment, however, is symptom-focused care if symptoms are significant. If symptoms are affecting a person’s quality of life, multidisciplinary management is needed.”

Co-lead researcher Nathan Kuppermann, MD, MPH, of the University of California, Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, “The reported rates of prolonged Covid in adults are significantly higher than what we found in children. Our results can guide public health policy decisions on Covid-19 mitigation techniques for children and expanded Covid-testing methods for people with severe infections,” the authors informed.

(With ANI entries)

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