The scientific community estimates that 10% to 20% of infected adults have symptoms for more than two months after infection with SARS-CoV-2, which could lead to a diagnosis of post-COVID-19 syndrome.
According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), this syndrome can appear regardless of the initial severity of the infection and even after initial recovery.
To date, it has been little studied in children. This is why researchers from Denmark wanted to better estimate the prevalence of long-term symptoms in children and infants, as well as their impact on their quality of life.
The researchers analyzed questionnaires completed by the parents of 11,000 children aged 0 to 14 who tested positive between January 2020 and July 2021 as well as 33,000 children who did not (eg the control group).
Their results were published today in Child and Adolescent Health The Lancet. (A new window)
Study participants were asked about the most common symptoms of
COVID long Stomach problems, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, heart palpitations, difficulty concentrating, breathing problems, etc.
The researchers noted that the infected children showed more symptoms than those in the control group, a sign of “long-Covid” in young adults.
In children aged 0 to 3 years, 40% of affected children showed some of these symptoms by two months, compared to 27% of 33,000 children in the control group. In children ages 4 to 11, 38% of affected children had long-term symptoms, compared to 34% in the control group. In affected children ages 12 to 14, this percentage was 46%, compared to 41% for the control group.
The most frequently reported long-term symptoms after 2 months in affected children aged 0–3 years were mood swings (10%), coughing (6%), rashes (4%) and anorexia (4%).
There were mood swings (10%), fatigue (4%), problems with memory or concentration (3.5%), and stomach pain (3%) in affected subjects aged 4 to 11 years.
Among those aged 12-14 years, the most common symptoms were mood swings (5%), fatigue (4%), problems with memory or concentration (4%) and stomach pain (3%).
The proportion of young adults with persistent symptoms appears to be decreasing over time. For example, if more than 6% of infected children aged 0 to 3 years had a cough after two months, then 4.4% had it after six months.
At least one third of children who become infected with long-term symptoms did not have these symptoms before infection with SARS-CoV-2.
Among infected children, less than 5% reported severe symptoms when first infected and more than half reported no symptoms.
” Our findings are consistent with previous studies of ‘prolonged COVID’ in adolescents, which show that while children’s risk of developing long-term symptoms is low, this disease must be recognized and treated seriously. »
Furthermore, among school- or nursery-aged children, 28% of affected youths missed at least 16 days of school, compared to 18% for the control group.
The researchers suggest that in some cases, it is possible that the symptoms observed in affected children may not be related to
The authors also note that it is possible that some children in the control group may have actually been infected but either did not receive a test or had no symptoms.
It should also be noted that this study includes infections prior to the Omicron wave. Thus, it is difficult to say whether
COVID long More or less prevalent in the case of this new variant.
Understand to do better
Researcher Maren Ritter, from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark – who was not involved in the study – however concludes that the effect of
COVID long Children are somewhat limited.
[Bien que] The study found that symptoms of any kind were slightly more common in children who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 […]The overall impact of COVID-19 infection on children is likely to be small and likely to be much less than the indirect effects of the pandemic.
For Simon Décary, a researcher at the University of Sherbrooke’s Patient Oriented Rehabilitation Research Laboratory who studies post-COVID-19 syndrome, this study confirms the hypothesis that there are forms of
COVID long In children but it is less common than in adults.
Understand how widespread
COVID long in children
Essential to guide clinical diagnosis, care, and decisions regarding isolation, containment, non-pharmaceutical interventions, and vaccination strategies Professor Selina Kickenburg-Berg, lead author of the study, wrote.
She adds that doctors do not always associate these symptoms with COVID-19, which makes the diagnosis difficult.
Mr. Decari adds that the authorities must find ways to help these young people who have
accidental disabilities. According to him, a safety net is needed to help those who have more symptoms in the long run.
” You have to think about the broader effects. For example, if a child has been unable to focus for two months due to these symptoms, how can we deal with this with school? »
He would like to point out that other studies have shown that the risk of long-term consequences does not decrease if the infection returns.
It’s a fact that’s here for goodwarns.
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