According to a large new study, everyone can be affected by long COVID, even the youngest of children!
That’s right, the research published in the journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health earlier this week confirmed that no one gets spared by the long term symptoms of COVID-19 infections including toddlers and infants!
The study featured 44,000 children from Denmark between the ages of 0 and 14 years old, 11,000 out of them testing positive for the virus between January of 2020 and July of 2021.
Of course, many of the symptoms associated with long COVID are common amongst children in general, even without an infection – mood swings, headaches, tiredness and stomach problems.
However, the researchers determined that the participant kids who had tested positive for COVID were more likely to experience at least one symptom for two or more months after when compared to kids who hadn’t been infected.
The symptoms were different depending on their age group as follows:
– 0 to 3 year olds mostly experienced rashes, stomach aches and mood swings.
– 4 to 11 year olds struggled with focus and memory problems.
– 12 to 14 year olds experienced mood swings, fatigue, memory and concentration issues.
When compared to children not previously diagnosed with COVID, infected young ones under the age of 3 seemed to experience the most symptoms.
More precisely, 40 percent of them had symptoms for at least 2 months after testing positive as opposed to only 27 percent of the group that didn’t test positive for the virus.
Selina Kikkenborg Berg, professor of cardiology at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark and the study’s co-author shared that “Our findings align with previous studies of long Covid and adolescents showing that although the chances of children experiencing long Covid is low especially compared to group to the control group, it must be recognized and treated seriously.”
At the same time, other experts point out that it is still not clear how many children are suffering from long COVID or for how long due to the fact that there is a lack of research for this age group.
A previous study from last year also suggested that half of previously infected kids between the ages of 6 and 16 experienced at least one symptom for over 4 months.
At this point in time, there are no special long COVID tests and it’s never 100 percent clear if a child has it, especially since it can happen even to those who had a mild case.