Long COVID's impact on children
Article By: TOI
Article By: TOI
In recent times, the novel coronavirus has become a source of major concern. The long lasting impact of COVID-19 on recovered patients has taken an even greater toll on people's physical and mental health, given the persistence of lingering symptoms even after testing negative for the virus. While scientists and medical professionals have continued to explore long COVID in adults, a recent study has claimed that long COVID can also impact children.
Long COVID refers to the lingering effects of coronavirus on various individuals for weeks or months beyond the initial illness. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), long COVID lasts for more than 12 weeks, although some other people consider symptoms that last more than eight weeks to be long Covid.
According to a recent study conducted by the University of Leicester and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the long-term effects of COVID-19 can cause survivors to develop heart problems, diabetes and chronic liver and kidney conditions. Additionally, people under the age of 70 developed lung, heart, kidney and liver problems, and new cases of diabetes came to the surface weeks or even months after they had recovered from Covid-19.
Growing evidence suggests that besides impacting the adults, long COVID can also affect children in various ways. While COVID-19 has not only taken a toll on children's mental health - considering the isolation and the restrictions put on social interactions - it has also developed rare illnesses in kids, including the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS), which can cause severe inflammation in many parts of their body such as heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin and others.
That said, a recent study evaluated a group of children to find out the long term impact of COVID-19 on them.
A study published in medRxiv on Tuesday established that roughly one in three youngsters still had one or two lingering symptoms of COVID-19 and more than one in five had three or more showed signs of COVID. The research was conducted on a group of 129 children, aged 18 or below within an average period of 163 days.
During the research, 18.6% children reported difficulty in sleeping. 14.7% complained of having respiratory issues including chest pain. Nasal congestion, fatigue, muscle and joint pain were some of the most common symptoms faced by the kids. In addition to that, 10.1% of the children complained of having difficulty in concentrating on something.
While the study is still under speculation, there is no doubt that children are also affected by long COVID. The health workers who were assisting the children under observation claim that the children had persistent symptoms long after the initial illness, and about 68 children in this group, 43% had symptoms severe enough to hinder their day to day functionings.
That said, while COVID-19 may have a mild or no impact on kids, the lingering effect of the virus might take a toll on them in the long run.