Covid-19: Long-lasting symptoms rare in children, new study confirms

By: |
August 04, 2021 10:41 AM

The researchers found that overall, these children on an average were ill for only six days, experiencing an average of three symptoms during the first week of illness.

covid in childrenThe study looked at reports of 1,734 with Covid-19 symptoms and tested positive for Covid-19 between September 2020 and February 2021. (Picture courtesy: IE)

Children with Covid-19 symptoms typically recover after six days, while the number that continue to experience symptoms after four weeks is a mere 4.4 per cent, a large study in the UK published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal has found.

According to Prof Emma Duncan of King’s College, London, who led the study as senior author, it was reassuring to find that a very low number of children experienced long-lasting Covid-19 symptoms. She added that a small number do experience long illness, and said the study validated their experiences as well as that of their families.

The research team used data from the UK ZOE COVID Study app to reach the conclusion. The team had details of more than 250,000 children in the UK, aged between five and 17 years, to work with. Parents and/or carers reported the children’s symptoms through the app.

The study looked at reports of 1,734 with Covid-19 symptoms and tested positive for Covid-19 between September 2020 and February 2021. Of these, fewer than one in 20 experienced symptoms for over four weeks, with only one in 50 still displaying the symptoms for over eight weeks.

The researchers found that overall, these children on an average were ill for only six days, experiencing an average of three symptoms during the first week of illness. The research confirms the theory that Covid-19 manifested itself as a mild illness in children, who usually recovered quickly.

The scientists found headaches and tiredness to be the most common symptoms among the children. The BBC reported that an expert from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said the data was in line with what doctors witnessed in clinics.

Children are at a far lower risk of contracting the coronavirus compared to adults. Many infected children do not even develop symptoms, while those that do usually have mild illness.

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