| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

One in three children with coronavirus can suffer from long-COVID: Expert

As many as a third of children diagnosed with coronavirus may suffer from long-COVID and continue to feel symptoms months after being diagnosed, a leading US health expert and researcher on the subject told Al Arabia English.

In what he describes as a “public health emergency,” Ashok Gupta, a chronic illness and long-COVID expert who has led studies on the lasting impacts of coronavirus, said children can experience long-lasting symptoms including chronic fatigue, discomfort and breathlessness.

Children from as young as two can also complain of persistent coughs, fevers, gut issues, as well as many other symptoms.

“Research in Italy found that 33 percent (of children) had symptoms four months later, with 25 percent having three or more symptoms,” said Dr Gupta.

“Several studies seem to indicate that it [long-COVID] is prevalent in between 5-30 percent of children diagnosed with COVID-19.

“A UK ONS study showed 10 percent of two-11-year-olds, 13 percent of 12-16-year-olds had long-COVID. In Russia, a quarter (25 percent) of children has symptoms longer term, and a Virus Watch study showed five percent of children after four weeks had long-COVID.”

The disparity in figures highlight the need for more research and studies into the topic, said Gupta.

Nevertheless, the expert said it is a growing phenomenon.

“Many millions are being poured into it (research) right now and it is a public health emergency.”

Gupta, a speaker at the Treat Long Covid Conference, said as cases of the highly infectious delta variant surge, so does the risk of developing long-COVID, and said this highlighted a growing importance for parents’ to safeguard their children’s immunity.

  • alarabiya