Long Covid in children: they are rarely affected

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Long Covid in children: they are rarely affected

At the beginning pandemic there was a lot of concern for the children who, according to experts, were less likely to get sick but above all to have severe symptoms and consequences. Parents were especially concerned about the effects of long Covid in children, but recent research has shown that the little ones have no symptoms that persist beyond 12 weeks.





In this article

  • Covid in children
  • What does long Covid mean
  • Children do not suffer from long Covid
  • How to recognize Covid in children

Covid in children

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic it was specified that, usually, the most severe symptoms were recorded in subjects at risk, in particular the elderly and people with previous illnesses. The onset of variants, such as the Delta, has led to one greater spread of the virus among the smallest, but the symptoms remain light, with fever among the most frequent and other ailments associated with those of a simple flu. The risk of myocarditis and pericarditis in children also seems to have a very low incidence. 



What does long Covid mean

long Covid we mean the persistent symptoms of Covid-19 contagion which last beyond three months, about 12 weeks, a situation that brings with it debilitating consequences of the infection. This is not an official medical term, but it is still used to describe those who suffer from Covid symptoms, such as fatigue, shortness of breath or other for many months from the time of the discovery of the infection. 



Read also: Covid positive child: what symptoms and what to do

Children do not suffer from long Covid

A search conducted on over 19.000 children and which covered fourteen studies has just been published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: apparently, i most common symptoms they are recorded between 4 and 12 weeks after infection, and are headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating and abdominal pain. 

Research therefore shows that Covid remains one mild disease in children who are under the age of 12 - that is, we remind you - that they cannot be vaccinated (even if the vaccine could arrive soon) and that in their case hospitalization remains a rare event, often accompanied by previous illnesses or immunodeficiencies . 

Until before this research, it was thought that they were more prone to long-term consequences from infection with Covid-19. In particular, in Del Paese it was the Gemelli Polyclinic of the city that conducted a survey on the little ones, indicating that half of them still suffered from consequences six months after the positive test, mostly linked to fatigue, muscle aches , headaches and sleep disturbances. But recent research has concerned larger samples of the population and above all they have been able to observe the phenomenon on a much longer time scale, given that the pandemic has now been underway for over a year and a half. 

Read also: Covid-19: because in the autumn it will be very important to vaccinate children against the flu

How to recognize Covid in children

Not being able vaccination and frequenting closed spaces every day with many other peers, i children they seem to be among the most at risk of getting sick right now. But it is not certain: school staff, teachers and collaborators, must be vaccinated to work, and this already reduces the risk of contagion. Pupils are then subjected to very strict rules - the obligation to wear a mask, often even in the courtyard, distancing, prohibition of exchanging objects, frequent hand sanitization - for this reason the chances are further reduced. 

But if yours son has been in contact with a positive or presumed positive, if you have fever, cough, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, you should have it seen by the pediatrician, who will prescribe a molecular swab. In case of positivity, you will have to observe the general state: if it is flu-like symptoms, everything is normal, and it will be enough to impose rest and a light diet to get him back. If you see that your baby is very sick or struggling to breathe, contact your doctor or emergency room.

There are positive signs from the research on long Covid for children, which however do not remain free from the virus: it is therefore still important that they are educated to follow the rules to avoid the spread of infection, especially wearing the mask correctly and washing your hands often.

SOURCES

How Common Is Long COVID in Children and Adolescents?

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