COVID-19: A quarter of hospitalized children have persistent complications after more than two months

A study from Boston Children’s Hospital, published Friday in the Journal of Pediatrics, showed that more than a quarter of children and teens who were hospitalized with coronavirus infection at the start of the pandemic still had health problems two to four months later.

Researchers interviewed caregivers of patients under age 21 in hospital with COVID-19 or pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). The study period ran from May 2020 to May 2021, before vaccines became available.

Of these children and young adults, nearly 40% have been hospitalized with severe COVID-19 and nearly 60% have used MIS-C. Respectively, 50% and 86% were admitted to the intensive care unit.

At a follow-up period of two to four months, 27% of patients with severe COVID-19 and 30% of those with MIS-C had persistent symptoms, decreased activity, or both.

“Nearly three-quarters of them are back to baseline, which is reassuring,” said researcher Adrian Randolph. But unfortunately, more than one in four were not. While this is much better than many reports in hospitalized elderly people, it is still very concerning. The risks of serious disease and chronic complications are higher than the risks of complications from the vaccine, and they are very rare.”

The expert points out that this study was limited to children and adolescents who required hospitalization, and that it occurred at the beginning of the epidemic; Most of them were accepted before the arrival of the delta variant.

“We are in the process of analyzing more recent data covering the delta period and part of the Omicron period, including effects on health-related quality of life,” said Adrian Randolph. I think there could be differences. It is important to understand how all the different variables affect children and to monitor the effectiveness of vaccination to prevent long-term complications.”

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“Now that vaccines are available, I highly recommend vaccinating children and adolescents,” she added. We know that patients can be re-infected even if they contract COVID-19, and we have previously shown that vaccination can prevent MIS-C and severe COVID-19. “

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