Kids complain of post-COVID symptoms like breathlessness, headache in Delhi
Children who had recovered from COVID-19 are reportedly coming back to hospitals in Delhi with complaints of post-COVID symptoms such as gastric issues, headaches, brain fog, breathlessness, etc. Health experts said the symptoms were found to persist for three-four months in children who had severe COVID-19. They said there are cases where children are showing delayed recovery.
Dr. Rahul Nagpal of Fortis Hospital told PTI that there are at least 1-2% of cases where they have found multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MISC). "Then there are lots of patients with diarrhea, fatigue, body ache, digestive issues," he said, adding that it needs to be studied more to know whether it is caused by COVID-19 infections.
Health experts also pointed out how brain fog impacts the retention capacity of children. Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder-Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, said that brain fog makes children stressed and anxious, as they are struggling to remember what they studied. "Parents might confuse brain fogging with children trying to make excuses to not study... but these are real symptoms," he said.
While MISC is a common post-COVID symptom among children, Dr. Shyam Kukreja of Max Hospital said how a lack of social interaction, staying at home, and the fear of COVID-19 are taking a toll on the mental health of children. He said he has seen many children afraid to come to hospitals as they have witnessed someone's death due to COVID-19 in their family.
With the spread of the Delta Plus variant in India—a new mutation in the Delta lineage—there is considerable fear pertaining to the threat it poses to children. However, experts are divided on the subject. Dr. Satish Deopujari told TOI there is nothing to suggest that the Delta Plus variant would affect those below 18 years, adding that "most pathogens become less severe as they mutate."
Meanwhile, another doctor opined that the Delta Plus variant could affect children due to its mutation. "The lack of vaccine trial approvals causing the delay in children's immunization is a global concern. Nobody knows how many mutations will take place before total immunization happens."