A new study suggests how often children can get COVID

It has been known for some time that post-COVID conditions, known as prolonged COVID, are more common in adults than in children, but the actual cases of prolonged COVID in children were unknown. However, a new international study has finally shed some light on how many children are sick with COVID for a long time, and which of the pediatric COVID patients are at greater risk.

Researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada studied data collected from 36 emergency departments in eight countries. Families of 1,884 children who tested positive for COVID in the emergency room were contacted 90 days later and asked about post-COVID conditions, defined as “persistent, new or returning symptoms or health problems.” emergency department.

Overall, 5.8% of children who tested positive for COVID reported a post-COVID condition. Rates were higher in children who were hospitalized for 48 hours or more, reported four or more symptoms at the first emergency department visit, or were 14 years of age or older.

About 9.8% of children hospitalized for 48 hours or more reported a post-COVID condition, and 4.6% of those discharged from the emergency department reported a post-COVID problem. The researchers also found that children who were hospitalized and experienced “severe complications” within 14 days were more likely to report symptoms after 90 days than children who were hospitalized with less severe illness.

Among children, the most commonly reported symptom was fatigue or weakness, followed by cough and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. All of these are also symptoms commonly reported by adults with post-COVID conditions.

“Our results highlight the need for appropriate guidance and follow-up, especially for children at high risk of prolonged COVID,” said Dr. This was reported by Stephen Friedman, the principal investigator of the study.

“Our finding that children with multiple symptoms of COVID-19 initially had a higher risk of developing COVID-19 over a longer period of time is consistent with studies in adults,” said Dr. Todd Florin, the study’s lead researcher.

“Unfortunately, there are no known therapies for prolonged COVID in children, and more research is needed in this area,” Florin said. “However, if the symptoms are severe, treating the symptoms is most important.”

It should be noted that because all children enrolled in the study were delivered to emergency departments, they may have had more serious symptoms. Some children may be brought to the emergency room for an unrelated matter and test positive for COVID while they are there. Regardless, the study found that children who were hospitalized or sickened by the number of symptoms they reported were more likely to report post-COVID conditions 90 days later.

The researchers followed a separate group of children who were seen in the ER but tested negative for COVID, and some of these children (5% of those admitted to the hospital and 2.7% of those discharged from the ER) also reported symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Breathing 90 days after they were admitted to the emergency room.

The study found that children who tested positive for COVID were twice as likely to have these post-COVID conditions compared to children who tested negative.

What this all means for parents

Thanks to this study, “we can predict which children are at risk of COVID over the long term,” said Dr. Pediatrician Candice Jones, who was not involved in the study, told HuffPost.

Jones also noted that the researchers noted that children have a much lower rate of post-COVID conditions than adults.

In addition to washing hands and wearing a mask, vaccination protects children from all the risks associated with COVID. COVID vaccines are now available to all children 6 months of age and older. Millions of children in the US have received COVID vaccines that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have determined are safe and effective.

“We know that vaccination can prevent COVID infection, prevent severe illness, prevent hospitalizations, and prevent death, thus reducing a child’s risk of COVID,” Jones said.

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