Updated: August 4, 2021 6:56:52 am
Children who develop symptoms of Covid-19 typically get better after six days, and the number who experience symptoms beyond four weeks is low (4.4%), a large UK study published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal has confirmed.
Professor Emma Duncan, lead and senior author of the study, from King’s College London, UK, said in a statement: “It is reassuring that the number of children experiencing long-lasting symptoms of Covid-19 symptoms is low. Nevertheless, a small number of children do experience long illness with Covid-19, and our study validates the experiences of these children and their families.”
The researchers used data collected through the ZOE COVID Study smartphone app, which includes data from more than 250,000 UK children aged five to 17 years.
Symptoms were reported through the app by their parents or carers (rather than assessed directly in children) and the team did not collect data regarding school attendance.
The team focused on reports collected between September 1, 2020 and February 22, 2021. Some 1,734 children developed symptoms of Covid-19 and received a positive PCR test result close to the onset of symptoms, with their symptoms reported regularly until they were healthy again.
Overall, these children were ill for an average of six days and experienced an average of three symptoms in the first week of illness, confirming that Covid-19 tends to manifest as a mild illness in children and that they usually recover quickly.
Most children recovered within four weeks, with a minority experiencing symptoms after a month (77/1,734). Typically, they had only two symptoms remaining after four weeks.
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