By Apollo 24/7, Published on - 20 July 2021
Since the beginning of the pandemic, adults have borne the worst impact of the COVID-19. On the other hand, far fewer infected children have experienced severe initial symptoms. Despite this, researchers are getting increasingly worried that the young population may now be at a greater risk of experiencing long COVID or post-COVID syndrome.
Although long COVID was first detected in adults, it is now being observed in the young population as well. According to the latest data, more young people are getting infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus than adults. The rise in infections is putting the young population at an increased risk of long COVID as well. The article below explores the pediatric long COVID in detail.
The long COVID symptoms observed in children are similar to those experienced by adults. Some of the most common symptoms are:
Some of the other less frequently observed symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, nausea, dizziness, seizures, and hallucinations.
Currently, it is difficult to tell how many kids have been affected by long COVID in India. There is no available study data to document the pediatric cases of long COVID in the country. However, several small studies have been conducted in other countries that point towards a significant number.
According to experts, one of the biggest challenges in working out the incidence of long COVID is the fact that there are no well-defined diagnostic criteria, even for adults. The surveys that are often carried out to determine the incidence focus on a broad range of symptoms, most of which are not specific enough to distinguish long COVID from other conditions.
In order to allow studies to determine the risk and incidence of long COVID in children, a proper definition of the condition is urgently needed. One suggestion is to define the long COVID as a collection of different syndromes: post-intensive care syndrome, post-viral fatigue syndrome, and long-term COVID syndrome. It is worth noting that a person may suffer from more than one of these syndromes at the same time.
Researchers are also evaluating the role of immunological changes triggered by long COVID. The changes might offer insights into the biological markers that could eventually pave the way for treatments as well. For instance, chronic inflammation after COVID-19 infection might be one of the biological markers of long COVID in children. The research involving the biological basis of long COVID will likely achieve significant results.
Currently, there is no known cure for long COVID. A multi-disciplinary approach is being recommended to minimize the symptoms. Pediatricians believe that, in most cases, the symptoms will resolve on their own with time. However, they recommend that it is better to avoid contracting the infection in the first place. Since children are currently not eligible for vaccination, parents should get vaccinated themselves. This will offer passive immunity to the children against COVID-19 and its long-term consequences.
If you have any questions on the Coronavirus, you can speak to our experts through an online doctor consultation.
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