While the symptoms associated with long Covid are general ailments that children can experience even without Covid – headaches, mood swings, stomach problems and fatigue – the children in the study who had previously tested positive for Covid were more likely to experience. at least one symptom for two months or more than children who have never tested positive for Covid.
The study also revealed that one-third of children who tested positive for Covid had at least one long-term symptom that was not present prior to the positive test.
The most common symptoms varied by age. For children up to 3 years old it was about mood swings, rashes and stomach pains. Children aged 4 to 11 also had problems with memory and concentration. For the 12 to 14 year olds it was problems with memory and concentration, mood swings and fatigue.
Children aged 3 years and younger appeared to have more problems than those who were not diagnosed with Covid-19: 40% experienced symptoms two months after testing positive compared to 27% in the group who did not have Covid.
“Our findings are in line with previous studies on long Covid and adolescents which show that although the chances of children suffering from long term Covid are low, especially compared to the control group, they need to be recognized and treated seriously.” , said study co-author Selina Kikkenborg Berg, professor of cardiology at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark.
There are no specific tests for the long Covid. It is unclear which children will have it, as it can happen even when a child has a mild case of Covid-19.
In addition to showing scientists the characteristics of long Covid in children, the study also showed that children who did not contract Covid also felt the impact of the pandemic. That group reported some more psychological and social problems than children who had Covid.
Dr Michael Absoud, a pediatrician specializing in neurodevelopmental problems who did not work on the study, told the Science Media Center in the UK that he found this intriguing.
“The most striking finding of this study is the higher quality of life and lower anxiety scores in older children who tested positive for Covid-19. This provides further confirmation that although mercifully children are resilient to direct impacts. of Covid, have been significantly influenced by the indirect impacts of the pandemic (school closures, repeated quarantines and treatment cuts) and anxious media messages Society is likely to have underestimated the long-term impact of the pandemic’s end of the virus on all children and the urgent need to recover health and wellness services, ”Absoud said.
“However, it is still important to identify the small percentage of children who take the longest to recover from COVID while supporting all children with persistent symptoms regardless of cause,” he added.
Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease specialist who runs the long-running Covid Clinic at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, did not work on the study, but said the work is important because it is further evidence that some children develop long Covid.
He said he still regularly meets people who don’t believe such a thing exists.
“There is an ongoing debate in both the medical world and society as to whether all these kids are complaining of headaches and anxiety and stomach aches and dizziness as to whether it is Covid or the stress of the pandemic. Yes, the pandemic has affected children in a bad way, but then you put yourself on top of Covid and you see that there really is something going on here, “Edwards said.
Recognizing that Covid can be a problem for a long time can encourage more parents to vaccinate their children so they don’t suffer from Covid in the first place. Studies like this can also encourage parents to pay attention to symptoms, so they can get the child’s help if they need it.
“It has become clear that this is not an isolated phenomenon. It is appearing in studies in more than one country. It is happening in more children than perhaps we initially thought,” Edwards said. “We are talking about no small number of children when you think about how many cases of Covid there have been. So continuing to spread the word counts.”