Since the pandemic outbreak has affected several communities, kids have been spared of some of the severe outcomes. However, the spectrum of long COVID occurring in kids is compelling the researchers for considering how the pandemic can impact the younger generation. This question is especially relevant as the infections amongst the young population in taking place post the vaccination. Hence, there are debates concerning about the efficacy of the vaccination drive.
Long covid was a condition that got first noticed in adults. However, many studies have stated very similar phenomena, comprising symptoms like fatigue, headache, and heart palpitations. The estimates of the way long COVID could impact kids differ. The researchers think it is necessary to pin this down to provide proper child protection. Getting kids vaccinated is essential. In fact, various states are discussing about the probable cost of the vaccine. According to MyBioSource, places like Alaska, Illinois, and New Mexico think that the vaccine cost should be around $259, $249, and $167, respectively.
The signs of concern amongst kids
Danilo Buosenso, a Pediatrician at Gemelli University Hospital, Rome, first started to quantify long COVID in kids. He and his fellow workers had interviewed close to 129 kids between the age bracket 6 and 16 years diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020. It was discovered that over a third of these kids have prolonged symptoms for about four months or more. Some of the common symptoms are persistent cold-like complaints, muscle pain, fatigue, and insomnia. The same weaknesses and symptoms are visible in adults as well. Also, the kids who were asymptomatic and had mild initial symptoms didn’t get spared of any permanent impacts.
The pandemic poses a risk for kids
The novel coronavirus usually spreads through respiratory droplets when infected people breathe, cough, talk, or sneeze. There are other ways in which it can spread as well. A few people affected by the coronavirus often witness shortness of breath, cough, high fever, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches, and other symptoms, which are very similar to any viral infection. Few people don’t show any symptoms.
There are four variants of the coronavirus that got identified. In order to curb the effect of the virus and its infection, the medical community has come up with multiple vaccines all across the globe. Kids can get affected by any of these variants, which in turn can react differently to their bodies compared to adults.
Kids can get infected from their family members or schoolmates when they are in school. When kids grow up, their chances of getting sick will become higher. Having said that, young infants and newborns are also at a higher risk. Children have a low death risk in comparison to adults. But there have been instances where kids have lost their lives because of the deadly COVID-19 virus. The latest research highlights that kids of American Indian, Black, or Hispanic origin have an increased risk of death because of the virus.
Kids with special health care requirements are at a higher risk
Studies have shown that kids with specific underlying conditions seem to be at an increased risk of getting infected by the coronavirus. It includes heart disease, obesity, neurologic disorders, asthma, and immunocompromised conditions.
Understanding the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in kids
Very rarely, the kids who got infected with the virus that results in coronavirus have developed a condition known as a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in kids. Usually, the kids can develop this syndrome 2 to 4 weeks after getting infected. At times, they witness no symptoms at all. Once affected, the kids need to get hospitalized and can require challenging supportive therapies to assist them to respond better to combat the after-effects of the virus. A few kids with this physical condition have also died.
Not very high an impact
Some of the long COVID symptoms in kids include difficulty in concentrating, insomnia, headache, and fatigue. According to several medical experts, the various pandemic-associated phenomena, for instance, the trauma of watching family members falling sick and school closures, also lead to such symptoms. It is essential to have a control group for teasing out all that is infection related.
In several studies that got conducted, medical institutions have sourced the blood samples of kids from the secondary school since May 2020 for keeping a track of the infection. In the months of March and April, there have been several surveys of over 1,500 kids. Almost close to 200 have developed antibodies that denote that they have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The studies also aimed to see the number of kids who got long covid.
The medical community says that such investigations for understanding the biological foundation of COVID might have far-reaching impacts. Today, there is very less knowledge about chronic post-viral conditions. It is mainly because the clinical attention and funding got focused on the extreme infection phases.