Scientific studies are concerned over emerging data on the effects that long COVID is having on some children and warn that these issues are real and should not be ignored.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that 13% of under 11’s and around 15% of 12-16-year-old children have reported to be suffering from at least one symptom of COVID, five weeks after receiving a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection. Almost 500,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 2020.
The Stages of Long COVID in Children
Children are considered less likely to become infected with COVID, transmit the virus and require hospitalisation. But there are still increasing concerns that the infection has the possibility to cause complications for the health of many children in the longer term.
Long COVID is a patient-led term used to describe the long-lasting effects that the COVID-19 infection can lead to. You may hear the term broken down into three categories: acute COVID infection, ongoing Symptomatic COVID and Post COVID Syndrome. This depends on the length of time signs and symptoms occur.
Common Symptoms of Long COVID in Children
At present, an agreed clinical definition of long COVID within children is limited and continues to be the topic of many discussions. However, regularly reported signs and symptoms include ongoing feelings of nausea, stomach pains, extreme tiredness and headaches. And there could be up to 100 other symptoms including dizziness, seizure, hallucinations and testicular pain.
Many children who have had the virus are reporting that they continue to feel tired doing their daily activities like gentle walking. Also reported is an ongoing reduction in sense of taste and smell. In some cases, they can experience cardiovascular symptoms such as palpitations and dizziness.
In addition to this, it is important to remember that COVID can have a significant effect on a child’s mental health and wellbeing due to changes and fear of the unknown, increased anxiety and social isolation.
Specialist Paediatric Care
We understand that it can be difficult to differentiate between long COVID and post-viral fatigue which can occur after common infections such as the flu and glandular fever.
Here at The Mayfair GP we offer comprehensive paediatric care and are highly experienced at treating a range of childhood illnesses and chronic conditions. If you are concerned, please get in touch. We can also do home visits and can carry out COVID testing, or other health screenings if needed.