Data on long Covid in UK children is cause for concern, scientists say – The Guardian

One concern, she stated, is the significant gap between severe infection and long Covid beginning. Some kids are initially asymptomatic or have moderate signs but then it may be 6 or 7 weeks prior to they begin experiencing long Covid signs, which can range from standard post-viral tiredness and headaches to neuropsychiatric signs such as seizures, and even skin lesions.
At the minute there is no agreement on the scale and effect of long Covid in adults, however emerging information is concerning. For kids, the data is much more limited.
Current reports from health centers in Sweden and Italy have generated issue, but this data is not from nationwide trials– they are single-centre research studies– and consist of relatively little client numbers, said Sir Terence Stephenson, a Nuffield teacher of kid health at University College London.

Although kids are fairly less likely to end up being contaminated, send the infection and be hospitalised, the key concern is whether asymptomatic or even moderate infection can cause long Covid in kids, said Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London.
” The answer is that it certainly can, and the long Covid assistance groups contain a not insignificant variety of teens and children,” Altmann said.
Sammie Mcfarland, a 45-year-old physical fitness trainer, and her 14-year-old daughter, Kitty, have actually endured a huge selection of signs varying from moderate to debilitating because getting contaminated last March. Their preliminary effort in May to get assistance caused a nurse diagnosing Mcfarland as depressed, and her child simulating her signs.

Scientists have actually cautioned that emerging information on long Covid in kids must not be overlooked offered the lack of a vaccine for this age group, but warned that the evidence describing these enduring symptoms in the young is up until now unpredictable.
Recently released information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has actually triggered worry. The data suggest that 13% of under 11s and about 15% of 12- to 16-year-olds reported at least one symptom five weeks after a validated Covid-19 infection. ONS samples households randomly, for that reason favorable cases do not depend upon having had symptoms and being evaluated.
With schools in England poised to reopen on Monday– Prof Christina Pagel, a member of the Independent Sage committee and director of clinical operational research at University College London– in a Twitter post recommended that although emerging information on long Covid in kids was uncertain, it should not be ignored, especially provided there was no certified vaccine for these age, and there probably will not be up until completion of this year or early next year.

Stephenson was granted ₤ 1.36 m last month to lead a study examining long Covid in 11- to 17-year-olds. “I do not have a scientific view on what long Covid remains in young people is– because honestly, we do not know,” he said.
Initial results are expected in three months.
When it comes to the ONS results, critics say that provided there is no comparator group– and some symptoms such as fever and cough prevail in youth– the data is not completely reliable.
” I dont know that is a really accurate way of collecting data … I do not believe thats most likely to be genuinely reflective of the number of young individuals are really experiencing persistent signs,” stated Dr Liz Whittaker, senior scientific lecturer in paediatric contagious illness and immunology at Imperial College London.
” Im speaking to paediatricians who are already getting recommendations– the numbers arent big … I dont believe theres a huge cause for concern,” she said, adding that what parents are most irritated by is that nobody knows much about it since its a new condition.
” The excellent news is that the majority of youths who get chronic tiredness tend to get better with appropriate assistance.”

” I left from that visit sensation extremely damaged, and very unheard and questioning my own peace of mind,” said Mcfarland. “And then I invested three days in bed being extremely tearful … and I awakened after the 3rd day believing that I cant be the only one.”
She then found a support system for adult “long haulers” online.
While Covid-19 was initially understood to be a mostly breathing disease from which most people would recuperate within two or 3 weeks, as the pandemic used on increasing numbers reported experiencing symptoms for months on end. These long haulers– with symptoms affecting organs varying from the heart to the brain– have no standardised treatment strategy.
As the summer dragged out, mom and child didnt get far better. Mcfarland said she felt compelled to reach out to other households whose children were in the very same boat. Eventually, the group Long Covid Kids was born– now the support system consists of about 1,700 children with long-term symptoms post-Covid-19.
Frances Simpson, a speaker in psychology at Coventry University and co-founder of the group, said she was really concerned about the emerging information on long Covid in children. “We just think that there must be a far more curious and cautious approach to long Covid rather than a kind of a sweeping generalisation that kids are OK, and that we ought to simply let them all return to school without any steps being put in place.”

Recently released data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has caused concern. The information recommend that 13% of under 11s and about 15% of 12- to 16-year-olds reported at least one symptom 5 weeks after a confirmed Covid-19 infection. ONS samples households randomly, for that reason positive cases do not depend on having had symptoms and being checked.
Mcfarland said she felt obliged to reach out to other households whose children were in the exact same boat. Eventually, the group Long Covid Kids was born– now the support group includes about 1,700 kids with long-term symptoms post-Covid-19.

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