Long-lasting Covid-19 Symptoms Rare In Kids: Study

Long-lasting Covid-19 symptoms rare in kids: Study

Children who develop symptoms of Covid-19 typically get better after six days, with just about 4.4% having symptoms which last beyond four weeks, found a UK study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Aug, 2021 ) :Children who develop symptoms of Covid-19 typically get better after six days, with just about 4.4% having symptoms which last beyond four weeks, found a UK study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

The study, based on data reported through a smartphone app by parents and carers, provides the first detailed description of covid-19 illness in symptomatic school-aged children.

"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," Professor Emma Duncan, lead and senior author of the study, from King's College London, UK, said.

Some adults experience a prolonged illness after Covid-19, described as "long-covid", where symptoms persist for four weeks or longer, but it is not known whether children can develop a similar condition or how common this is. Many children infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus do not develop symptoms, but those who do tend to, have a mild illness, Medical Daily reported.

In the study, the researchers used data collected through the ZOE COVID Study smartphone app, which includes data from more than 250,000 children the UK, aged five to 17 years. Symptoms were reported through the app by their parents or carers, rather than assessed directly in children, and the team did not collect data regarding school attendance.

The team focused on reports collected between 1 September 2020 and 22 February 2021. Some 1,734 children developed symptoms of Covid-19 and received a positive PCR test result close to the onset of symptoms, with their symptoms reported regularly until they were healthy again. This meant the researchers could accurately attribute these children's symptoms to Covid-19 and could assess illness duration robustly.

Overall, these children were ill for an average of six days and experienced an average of three symptoms in the first week of illness, confirming that Covid-19 tends to manifest as a mild illness in children and that they usually recover quickly.

Most children recovered within four weeks, with a minority experiencing symptoms after a month (4.4%, 77/1,734). Typically, they had only two symptoms remaining after four weeks. The commonest symptom experienced by children with long illness duration was fatigue. About 84% (65/77) of children reported fatigue at some point in their illness, and this was the most persistent symptom. Headache and loss of sense of smell were also common, (each symptom experienced by 77.9% (60/79) of children at some stage over the course of their illness). However, headache was more common early in illness while loss of sense of smell tended to occur later and to persist longer.

Older children were typically ill for longer than Primary school aged children (average illness duration 7 days in children aged 12 to 17 years vs 5 days in children aged 5 to 11 years). Older children were also more likely to have symptoms after four weeks than younger children (5.1% [59/1,146] children aged 12 to 17 years vs 3.1% [18/588] aged 5 to 11 years), but there was no difference in the numbers of children who still had symptoms after eight weeks (2% [19/934] aged 12 to 17 years vs 1.3% [6/445] aged 5 to 11 years).

"We found that nearly a quarter of symptomatic children testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the UK's second wave did not report core symptoms, suggesting the UK testing policy needs reconsideration," Dr Erika Molteni, first author of the study, from King's College London, said.