Children less affected by long Covid, says British study

Children very rarely suffer from long Covid. ― Sergii Sobolevskyi/Shutterstock pic
Children very rarely suffer from long Covid. ― Sergii Sobolevskyi/Shutterstock pic

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LONDON, Aug 5 ― According to a British study, children very rarely experience what has come to be known as long Covid-19, when symptoms can last several weeks or even months. The vast majority of young people take less than a week to recover. Only a very small percentage of children have been found to still have symptoms eight weeks after infection.

Six days. That's the average time it takes a child to recover from Covid-19, according to findings from King's College London. The number of children still showing symptoms between four and eight weeks is “low.”

A total of 258,790 children aged 5 to 17 participated in the study, which was published in the journal Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. Data came from reports made by parents and caregivers via a mobile app. Between September 1, 2020, and January 24, 2021, 1734 youth reported a positive PCR test after experiencing symptoms. Their health status was reported on and tracked until recovery.

On average, children aged 12 to 17 years take slightly longer to recover from covid, one week, compared to five days for those aged 5 to 11 years. Of the 1734 youth who tested positive, 4% had symptoms for 4 weeks or more and 2 per cent for more than eight weeks.

Eighty-four percent of children with long covid reported feeling tired at least once during their recovery. Two other symptoms were prominent: headaches, often reported early in the disease, and loss of smell, somewhat later.

“It is reassuring that the number of children experiencing long-lasting symptoms of Covid-19 symptoms is low. Nevertheless, a small number of children do experience long illness with Covid-19, and our study validates the experiences of these children and their families,” outlined Professor Emma Duncan of King's College London, lead and senior author of the study.

“Our data highlight that other illnesses, such as colds and flu, can also have prolonged symptoms in children and it is important to consider this when planning for paediatric health services during the pandemic and beyond,” explains Michael Absoud, a senior author of the study.

In his conclusions, the senior lecturer at King's College London warns about the “prevalence of these illnesses” increasing with the loosening of preventative measures.

In case of doubts or symptoms, the scientists recommend consulting a general practitioner. ― ETX Studio

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