#Coronavirus

How Long Does COVID-19 Illness Last In Kids? Lancet Study Provides Answers

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COVID-19 illness in children: COVID-19 third wave in India is expected to start soon and several reports have predicted that it will target children this time. With such reports doing rounds, parents are feeling anxious about what should they be prepared for. How long do symptoms of COVID-19 last in children? Do children suffer from long-COVID just like many adult patients of the disease do? A latest research has now said that most children who develop symptoms of COVID-19 get better after six days. The researchers also added that long-lasting symptoms of the disease are “rare” in kids.

According to a new study conducted in the United Kingdom, the results of which were published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal, the number of COVID-19 positive children who experience symptoms beyond four weeks is low (4.4 percent). The study also confirmed that most children who participated in the study suffered from illness for an average of six days and the most common symptoms were headache (62.2 percent) and fatigue (55 percent).

What are the Researchers saying?

This study was led by Professor Emma Duncan, lead and senior author from King’s College London. Duncan said in a statement that the number of children experiencing long-lasting symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms is rare. Nevertheless, a small number of children do experience long illness and the study validates the experiences of these children and their families.

While data was collected from more than 250,000 children, the study’s findings focussed on data collected from 1,734 children who had developed symptoms and received a positive PCR test result close to the onset of symptoms for COVID-19. Their symptoms were  reported regularly until they were healthy again to the researchers. Overall, these children experienced an average of three symptoms in the first week of illness. Additionally, most children recovered within four weeks and had only two symptoms remaining. Those who took longer than a month to recover showed up to six symptoms during the first week of illness. However, after day 28, they showed two symptoms.

The study also collected findings from children who had tested negative for the disease, despite showing symptoms and the duration of illness was found to be lesser in them.

Key findings from the study:

  • Median duration of illness for children who tested positive for COVID-19 is 6 days and 3 days for those who test negative.
  • Median duration for illness increased with age for children.
  • Most common symptoms experienced by children in first four weeks- headache, fatigue, anosmia.
  • No neurological symptoms reported among children.
  • While long-term effects are possible in children, they remain rare.

Feature Image Credit: The News Minute