Children at risk of developing long COVID-19: Study
There is a link between children who contracted COVID-19 and subsequently showed signs of long COVID, a recent study found. It said nearly 6 percent of children who had COVID-19 when they visited the emergency room (ER) developed prolonged COVID symptoms. The study was done in eight different countries and was published in JAMA Network Open.
Other important findings of the study
The Mint reports that the study also discovered that long COVID was associated with a first-time hospitalization lasting 48 hours or longer, four or more symptoms present at the first hospital visit, and age 14 or older. It said the most commonly reported chronic symptoms in children were weariness or weakness, cough, trouble breathing, or shortness of breath.
What did the lead investigator say?
Stephen Freedman, from the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine and Alberta Health Services said, "in some children, sickness with COVID-19 is associated with reporting persisting symptoms after 3 months." Freedman, who was the principal investigator of the study, went on to say that the study suggests the need for adequate counseling and follow-up, particularly for children at high risk of long COVID.
How was the study conducted?
As per the reports, the study included 1,884 children with COVID-19 who had a 90-day follow-up, with nearly 10% of children in hospitals and 5% of kids who were released from the ER having long COVID. Another interesting conclusion from the study was that children who initially showed several COVID-19 symptoms were more likely to have long COVID.
What does the study recommend?
One of the Co-Principal Investigators Todd Florin said that they found 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," Florin said. "The most crucial aspect of treatment, however, is symptom-focused care if symptoms are significant," he added.
What does the study signify?
The reported rates of long COVID-19 in adults are significantly greater than what they found in children, said Nathan Kuppermann, another co-principal investigator who works at the University of California. "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 informed.