Study Finds Risks For Long COVID In Children

Calgary [Canada]: A study conducted in eight countries and published in JAMA Network Open found that nearly 6% of kids who had COVID-19 when they went to the Emergency Department (ED) later on exhibited symptoms of extended COVID. Long COVID was linked to a first-time hospitalisation lasting 48 hours or more, four or more symptoms present at the first ED visit, and age 14 or older.

According to Principal Investigator Stephen Freedman, MDCM, MSc, of the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, “we discovered that in some children, sickness with COVID-19 is associated with reporting persisting symptoms after 3 months.” Our findings imply the necessity for suitable counselling and follow-up, particularly for kids who are at high risk for lengthy COVID. 1,884 children with COVID-19 who had a 90-day follow-up were included in the study. Nearly 10% of children in hospitals and 5% of kids who were discharged from the ER had long COVID.

According to co-principal investigator Nathan Kuppermann, MD, MPH, of the University of California, Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, “Reported rates of extended COVID in adults are significantly greater than what we found in children.” “Our results can guide public health policy decisions about COVID-19 mitigation techniques for kids and extended COVID screening methods among people with severe infections,” the authors write.

Children’s exhaustion or weakness, cough, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath were the most often reported chronic symptoms.

Co-Principal Investigator Todd Florin, MD, MSCE, from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said, “Our finding that children who initially had multiple COVID-19 symptoms were at higher risk for long COVID is consistent with studies in adults.”

“Unfortunately, extended COVID in children has no known treatments, so more study is required. The most crucial aspect of treatment, however, is symptom-focused care if symptoms are significant. If symptoms are affecting one’s quality of life, multidisciplinary care is necessary.”

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