Long COVID hits children who have been hospitalized with more severe symptoms harder.
Their symptoms may be less severe, but a North American study shows that 6% of children stricken with COVID-19 are still showing symptoms three months later.
The eight-country study included 1,884 children aged 17 and under who visited a room emergency for COVID-19 and had 90-day follow-up.
Long-term COVID-19 was detected in nearly 10% of children who were hospitalized and in 5% of children who were discharged after being seen in the emergency room .
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Calgary, the University of California at Davis, the Northwestern University and Children's Hospital of Chicago. It was published Friday in the JAMA Network Open.
The study states that long-lasting COVID-19 was more likely in children 14 years and older who had been hospitalized with more severe symptoms.
Fatigue, weakness, coughing and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms reported by children.
Researchers were able to follow up about 80% of patients, but caution that more studies are needed to determine if these conditions are chronic.
The study also indicates that rates of long-term COVID are significantly higher in adults than in children.
Dr. Anna Funk, who is an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, believes the work highlights the importance of vaccination.
“Six for one hundred is still one child out of twenty. This should give pause to those who are hesitant to have their children vaccinated.
— Dr. Anna Funk, who is an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary
We know that vaccines reduce the incidence of severe disease, so it looks like a good intervention to possibly reduce post-COVID problems in children, she adds.
This work tends to confirm what x27;other studies conducted recently have demonstrated.