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Adults may not be the only Covid 'long haulers.' Kids have symptoms months after falling ill

August 10, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Parents whose children have been battling symptoms as diverse as fatigue, breathlessness, chest pains, diarrhea and "covid toes" for weeks after suspected Covid-19 infection say there is little help to guide their kids' recovery.

Indiana fell ill with a cough in early March, said her mother, Jane Evans.

Parents whose children have been battling symptoms as diverse as fatigue, breathlessness, chest pains, diarrhea and "Covid toes" for weeks say there is little information available to help guide their recovery -- a situation all the more worrying given the imminent return to school for many.

"Covid in children falls into two categories really -- the primary infection with the virus seems to be a largely benign event in children, except for some tiny numbers where there's a pre-existing condition," said Athimalaipet Ramanan, Honorary Professor of Paediatric Rheumatology at the University of Bristol in England.

Ramanan said he had not yet seen cases of children with apparent longer-lasting mild Covid symptoms.

Evans, like other parents who believe their children are suffering long-term effects of the coronavirus, is also worried that Indiana could be denied healthcare support because she hasn't had a positive test.

Birgit, from East Sussex in southeast England, said her previously active seven-year-old son is still fatigued, has lost weight and can't run far without being noticeably out of breath, four months after contracting suspected Covid-19.

No one in the family was tested, although doctors told her they believed she had Covid-19 and the letter signing her off from work says likely Covid-19, she said.

Jen Stefanic, who lives in a rural county in the northwestern US state of Idaho, said her three children, a 12-year-old boy and girls ages 10 and seven, had all experienced waves of various symptoms since late May. All were normally very active and healthy.

No coronavirus tests were available, she said, but the family doctor told her to assume they had all had the virus.

Another mother in the English Midlands, who asked to be known as Jane, said her three boys were now recovered but that she continues to suffer debilitating symptoms after all becoming ill in March.

"At the moment there's no concrete data that's been published in relation to children and long-term problems, but that's because we are still fairly early on and children haven't been so badly affected," MacDermott said.

"It's certainly possible that children may experience the kind of problems we are hearing about in adults such as long-term fatigue," she said.

"It's important that people realize that pediatric services are now fully functioning," she said, adding that the absence of a positive test would not exclude children from getting post-Covid care.

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