Children rarely have long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms: Lancet study

Researchers say it's the first detailed study of COVID-19 illness in symptomatic school-aged children

One of the largest epidemiological studies to date found that most children who develop COVID-19 symptoms have mild illness and recover within a week.

Published in the highly respected Lancet medical journal, the study is based on data collected through a smartphone app by parents and caregivers in the UK.

Many children infected with COVID-19 do not develop symptoms

The study is being touted as the first detailed description of COVID-19 illness in symptomatic school-aged children yet.

Researchers collected data from more than 250,000 children aged five to 17 years of age and found that the number of children who experience symptoms beyond four weeks is low.

The study’s authors noted that many children do not develop symptoms, but those who do tend to have a mild illness.

Overall, children tracked were ill for an average of six days.

The most common symptoms included headache (62 per cent) and fatigue (55 per cent).

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“It is reassuring that the number of children experiencing long-lasting symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms is low. Nevertheless, a small number of children do experience long illness with COVID-19, and our study validates the experiences of these children and their families,” King’s College London professor and lead author of the study Emma Duncan said in a media release.

The study’s authors said a holistic approach for all children with persistent illness during the pandemic is appropriate.

Researchers collected data for the study between September 1, 2020, and February 22, 2021.

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