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Long COVID symptoms can differ among children of various age groups: Study

IANS May 04, 2024

Long COVID affects children differently, and the symptoms differ between infants, school-going kids and adolescents, according to a large study.

Low energy, tiredness, headaches, body, muscle, and joint pains, lightheadedness or dizziness, trouble concentrating or focusing; and gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting, were commonly found among school-age children, adolescents, and young adults with a history of a COVID-19 infection.

Researchers at the New York University in the US, surveyed 7,229 caregivers and children, 75 per cent of whom had reported having had a COVID-19 infection.

The school-age children reported more prolonged phobias or fears of specific things and school refusal, while adolescents noted more fears of crowds or enclosed spaces and panic attacks.

Adolescents and young adults also reported changes in smell or taste, while chest pain and palpitations were more common in young adults, but not in the younger age groups.

Further, poor appetite, trouble sleeping, fussiness, and prolonged respiratory symptoms like stuffy nose and cough were seen majorly among young children between birth and 5 years old.

"These findings underscore the importance of characterising Long COVID in children while researchers are still discovering the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection in this age group," said Rachel Gross, Associate Professor of Paediatrics and Population Health at the University’s Grossman School of Medicine.

"This research is important because clinicians can appropriately diagnose and treat Long COVID when they better understand how different age groups are affected by the condition."

The findings will be presented at the ongoing Paediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2024 Meeting, in Toronto, Canada.

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