Long COVID in infected children can last at least two months: Lancet study

Children infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus can have long-lasting COVID symptoms lasting at least two months, according to a study published Thursday in the journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

The largest study to date of long-lasting COVID symptoms in children aged 0-14 used a nationwide sampling of children in Denmark and matched COVID-19 positive cases with a control group with no history of illness .

“The overall aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of long-lasting symptoms in children and infants, as well as quality of life and absence from school or daycare,” said Prof Selina. Kikkenborg Berg, University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark. “Our findings reveal that although children with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis are more likely to have lasting symptoms than children without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, the pandemic has affected all aspects of everyone’s lives. young people,” Berg said.

Further research into the long-term consequences of the pandemic on all children will be important in the future, the researcher said.

Most previous studies of the long COVID in young people have focused on adolescents, with infants and toddlers rarely represented.

In the study, surveys were sent to the mother or guardian of children aged 0-14 who had tested positive for COVID-19 between January 2020 and July 2021.

In total, responses were received for nearly 11,000 children with a positive COVID-19 test result who were age- and sex-matched to more than 33,000 children who had never tested positive for COVID-19.

The surveys asked participants about the 23 most common symptoms of long COVID in children and used the World Health Organization’s definition of long COVID as symptoms lasting longer than two months.

The most commonly reported symptoms in children 0-3 years old were mood swings, skin rashes, and upset stomach.

Among 4 to 11 year olds, the most commonly reported symptoms were mood swings, trouble remembering or concentrating, and skin rash, and among 12 to 14 year olds, fatigue, mood swings and memory or concentration problems.

The study results revealed that children diagnosed with COVID-19 across all age groups were more likely to have at least one symptom for two or more months than the control group.

In the 0-3 year age group, 40% of children diagnosed with COVID-19 (478 of 1,194 children) had symptoms for more than two months, compared to 27% of controls (1,049 of 3,855 children).

For the age group 4 to 11 years, the ratio was 38% of cases (1,912 of 5,023 children) versus 34% of controls (6,189 of 18,372 children), and for the age group of At ages 12 to 14, 46% of cases (1,313 of 2,857 children) versus 41% of controls (4,454 of 10,789 children) had long-lasting symptoms.

The nonspecific types of symptoms associated with long COVID are often experienced by otherwise healthy children; headaches, mood swings, abdominal pain, and fatigue are all symptoms of common ailments children experience that are unrelated to COVID-19.

However, the study found that children with a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 were more likely to have long-lasting symptoms than children who never had a positive diagnosis, suggesting that these symptoms were a presenting of a long COVID.

This is supported by about a third of children with positive COVID-19 tests showing symptoms that were not present before SARS-CoV-2 infection, the researchers said.

Moreover, as the duration of symptoms increased, the proportion of children with these symptoms tended to decrease.

In general, children diagnosed with COVID-19 reported fewer psychological and social problems than children in the control group, they said.

According to the researchers, in the older age groups, cases often felt less frightened, had less trouble sleeping, and felt less worried about what was about to happen to them.

A likely explanation for this is increased awareness of the pandemic in older age groups, children in the control group being afraid of the unknown disease and more restricted daily life due to their protection against the virus, they said. added.

(Except for the title, this story has no editing by federal government staff and is published automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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