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Nearly 1 In 3 Children With Covid Have Experienced Long-Lasting Symptoms, Study Finds

Published 1 month ago
By Forbes

TOPLINE

Almost one in three among thousands of Danish children diagnosed with Covid experienced long-lasting symptoms, according to a study published in Lancet Child and Adolescent Health on Wednesday, which found those children were more likely than those who hadn’t had Covid to develop persistent symptoms, adding to a growing body of research that suggests people of all ages may suffer from lingering health problems resulting from the pandemic.

KEY FACTS

Approximately 40% of the children aged 0 to 3 who were diagnosed with Covid experienced at least one symptom lasting longer than two months compared to 27% of children who had not had Covid, according to the study, which used survey results from nearly 11,000 Danish children who had Covid, matched by age and sex with more than 33,000 children who hadn’t.

Among 4- to 11-year-olds with a previous Covid diagnosis, 38% reported persistent symptoms compared to 34% of the control group. Mood swings and rashes were some of the most common long Covid symptoms reported among all age groups.

Children diagnosed with Covid on average reported fewer psychological and social problems than those in the control group, which researchers hypothesized was because those who hadn’t had Covid were more concerned about becoming infected and more restricted in everyday life to avoid getting it.

That underlines how the pandemic, including ensuing school closures and lockdowns, affected “every aspect of all young people’s lives,” and the long-term consequences should receive further study, according to lead author Selina Kikkenborg Berg, a professor at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.

The Centers for Disease Control estimated that about 75% of children and adolescents 17 and under in the U.S. had Covid by February, a jump from about 45% in December.

KEY BACKGROUND

Long Covid is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms people report for months or even years after an initial coronavirus infection, including cognitive, gastrointestinal and heart issues. Most studies to date have focused on adults and adolescents. The Lancet study is the largest so far to document long Covid in young children. The study surveyed participants on 23 of the most common symptoms of long Covid in children, including headaches, mood swings, abdominal pain and fatigue, some of which are also commonly experienced by healthy children. Researchers suggested future studies should focus on better understanding these persistent symptoms, as well as other long-term effects of the pandemic that have impacted the health of all children regardless of whether they have been infected with the coronavirus.

FURTHER READING

1 Of 5 With Covid May Develop Long Covid, CDC Finds—Though Vaccination May Offer Some Protection, Study Suggests (Forbes)

Getting Vaccinated After Infection Could Slash Risk Of Long Covid, Study Finds (Forbes)

By Madeline Halpert, Forbes Staff

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