Children, who are diagnosed with coronavirus, rarely experience long-term symptoms and recover in less than a week, a new study published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal said. Scientists at King’s College London said that while a small group may exhibit prolonged illness, they were sure that the number was low.
Headaches and tiredness were the most common symptoms seen, CNN reported quoting the study. Other common symptoms included a sore throat, and loss of smell.
A Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health expert said the data was only a reflection of what the doctors saw in clinics and used data provided by parents or carers to the UK Zoe COVID Study app. The study also said that compared to adults, children are far less at risk of the COVID-19.
This peer-reviewed study was done in order to understand how COVID affected children and how it compared to other respiratory diseases.
However, there were no reports of neurological symptoms such as fits or seizures.
A total of 1,734 children, aged between 5 to 17, reportedly developed symptoms and tested positive for COVID between September 2020 and February 2021.
The study discovered that there were fewer than one in 20 of those who experienced COVID symptoms for four weeks or more and one in 50 having symptoms for more than eight weeks.
On average, older children remained ill for a longer period of time. But children aged between 12 and 17 took a week to recover and younger children remained ill for up to five days.
Of the 1,379 children who developed symptoms at least two months before the end of the study period, fewer than 2% experienced symptoms for longer than eight weeks, the study said.
Older children were also more likely to have symptoms after four weeks than younger.
The researchers also assessed the children who tested negative for COVID-19 who may have had other childhood illnesses, such as colds and flu.
They found that children with COVID-19 were ill for longer compared to children with other illnesses who tested negative for COVID-19.
“Our data highlight that other illnesses, such as colds and flu, can also have prolonged symptoms in children and it is important to consider this when planning for paediatric health services during the pandemic and beyond,” Michael Absoud, a senior author of the study and Consultant & Senior Lecturer at King’s College London, said.