What is it about?

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people around the world. Children who were infected with COVID have typically shown very mild or no symptoms at all. This may mean there is a lower risk of them developing “Long COVID,” during which symptoms persist long after the infection has cleared. This project reviewed 14 studies with a total of 19,426 children and adolescents who reported COVID symptoms that lasted anywhere from 4 weeks to months. The scientists found that: • Most of the children reported headaches, tiredness, sleeping problems, chest pain, cough, runny nose, and appetite loss. • Most symptoms disappeared after 12 weeks. • The data was not reliable. For example, most of the studies were based on responses from children and their parents, that had not been confirmed by medical professionals. Many of the individuals did not report confirmed cases of COVID.

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Why is it important?

It is important to get a clear picture of how children respond post COVID. For this, data from reliable sources are necessary, such as • those with confirmed cases • those with consistent follow-ups • cases that are compared to healthy controls The COVID vaccine appears to be working well in adults and is expected to be successful in children. Because vaccination benefits vary by age group, information on how age affects long COVID is also critical. KEY TAKEAWAY: Solving the uncertainties associated with long COVID in children requires a careful assessment of data based on trusted and reliable responses. This might help policymakers in determining vaccination strategies for children and adolescents to fight against COVID.

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This page is a summary of: How Common is Long COVID in Children and Adolescents?, The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, September 2021, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/inf.0000000000003328.
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