While it was assumed that the post-COVID fatigue only impacted adults, case studies have now shown that even the little ones can be COVID long haulers. It could be yet another way how COVID impacts children differently than adults.
Although novel coronavirus is a scary pandemic for all age groups, so far, the disease has carried different implications for younger children. While kids haven’t been found to be vulnerable to severe COVID, some studies suggest that kids could be asymptomatic, act as silent carriers, shedding the virus for weeks at a stretch.
If the newest findings are true, it might make the case of schools and public spaces reopening for kids even more perplexing.
What do the researches say?
Reports of a 12-year-old, perhaps the world’s youngest COVID long hauler came to light recently.
In an interview with New York Times, Maggie, who contracted the virus with her parents some months back said that lingering symptoms felt like a burden for her.
“It felt like an elephant sitting on my chest…It was hard to take a deep breath, I was nauseous all the time, I didn’t want to eat, I was very light-headed when I stood up or even just lying down.”
Another example of long-time repurcussions of COVID would be 9-year-old Eli Lipman. In an interview, appearing along with his father, Eli mentioned that the lingering symptoms, which went on for five months were one of the hardest things for him to go though:
“It is a big deal and it will hurt. Sometimes, you are not okay. Kids with long-haul; you might not be okay but the good side is you will get better. Five months before, I felt like I would die. I felt super tired, couldn’t get up and didn’t feel like doing anything. Now, I am getting better now and even feeling more energetic.”
While the case study will require a lot more research, it just goes on to prove that kids would require the same level of care and precautions as adults.
How to care for children post COVID recovery
Children and adults require the same level of care and attention post COVID. Pediatric long haulers may also likely require life-long care post COVID recovery. One of the most striking symptoms of COVID-19 in children is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which generates a strong immune response and may even cause life-threatening complications in some, including seizures, excruciating pain, recurring fevers and respiratory distress. Even though rare, these complications do pose a threat.
Kids’ mental well-being needs to be paid attention to as well. While brain fog is one of the most common post COVID symptoms in children, cognitive impairment and neural slowdown may pose threats too. Even if the complications might be rare, it is important to be prepared for outcomes.