The long-term clinical status of pediatric patients after testing positive for COVID-19


A latest examine printed in Frontiers in Neurology discovered that the most typical lengthy COVID signs within the pediatric inhabitants confirmed the next prevalence amongst sufferers within the age vary of 6-17 years and have been equivalent to these reported in adults. Though the neurological manifestations of post-COVID syndrome pale over time, the psychological impacts continued, and extra so, in sufferers between 6-17 years of age. 

Research: Neurological and psychological effects of long COVID in a young population: A cross-sectional study. Picture Credit score: L Julia/Shutterstock


The coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic brought on by extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has claimed over 6.5 million world deaths. Italy was among the many worst impacted nations and witnessed a excessive mortality charge.

The virus causes systemic irritation and neurological dysfunctions and neurophysiological alterations that trigger numerous psychiatric problems like nervousness, despair, obsessive compulsive dysfunction (OCD), post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD), and decreased cognition. Moreover, the an infection precipitates somatic signs like physique aches and respiratory misery, in addition to neurophysiological alterations, for instance, disruption of the circadian rhythm, consideration deficit, irritability, and fatigue.

The signs post-SARS-CoV-2 an infection can final for prolonged durations. Signs persisting for greater than three months after the an infection are collectively known as post-COVID syndrome or lengthy COVID. 

Varied post-COVID syndrome manifestations have been studied in adults, adolescents, and pediatric sufferers. Nonetheless, systematic outcomes of lengthy COVID amongst adolescents and pediatric populations are restricted.

The examine

This examine aimed to detect the incidence and sort of lengthy COVID signs 3-5 months post-COVID within the pediatric inhabitants for comparability with beforehand reported post-COVID syndrome signs in kids and adults. 

The examine was primarily based on the speculation that neurophysiologic post-COVID syndrome signs result in psychological results that interferes with regular adaptability. 

This examine was performed in Italy between February and November 2021. The cohort comprised 322 people, 1-17 years of age, with previous COVID-19. Neurophysiologic situations have been assessed at one month and 3-5 months post-COVID, primarily based on a guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms. Moreover, lengthy COVID signs have been evaluated via psychological questionnaires – accomplished by the kids and their mother and father. The outcomes have been then statistically analyzed.


On the onset, 60% of the contributors offered with COVID-19 signs. The remainder of the contributors have been asymptomatic at infection-onset. After one month, 20% of the sufferers had signs, whereas after 3-5 months, 22% of sufferers confirmed signs.

The signs various at totally different time factors. Probably the most prevalent symptom at infection-onset was headache which continued even after 3-5 months, though at a lesser frequency. Fatigue and anosmia have been additionally seen 3-5 months after COVID-19 an infection. Ageusia was current on the onset of the illness, which elevated at 3-5 months post-infection after a regression at 1 month.

Neurophysiological signs of lengthy COVID, like headache, ageusia, and fatigue, have been extra outstanding in sufferers between 6-17 years of age. These signs have been not often current in kids under 5 years of age. Musculoskeletal ache and anosmia completely occurred in 6-17-year-olds. Alterations in consuming habits, adjustments within the circadian rhythm, cognition and conduct, and elevated use of digital devices have been additionally documented. 

Within the 6-17-year-old age group, disruption within the circadian rhythm, dietary alterations, behavioral issues, cognitive adjustments, and elevated use of technological devices have been reported. The identical adjustments have been recorded in 1.5-5-year-old kids, although with decrease incidence charges.

Among the many psychological manifestations of lengthy COVID, primarily based on the kid conduct guidelines (CBCL) questionnaire answered by the mother and father, some kids between 1.5-5 years of age scored above common for nervousness/depressive signs, emotional reactivity, sleeping issues, closure, and a focus issues. Of word, inside issues have been better in comparison with exterior issues.

Dad and mom of greater than half of the kids within the age group 6-17 years reported deteriorations within the total exercise of their kids – with respect to their tutorial efficiency, leisure actions, and social competence. Among the many 1.5-5-year-old age group, extra internalizing issues have been reported. On this group, nervousness was the most typical downside, adopted by despair and closure, somatic issues, issues with cognition, and oppositional points.

To evaluate depressive-anxious signs, the kids aged 6-17 years have been divided right into a subgroup of 8-16-year-old. The Multidimensional Nervousness Scale for Kids-2 Self Report (MASC 2-SR) questionnaire rendered an above-average rating for social and efficiency nervousness, adopted by emotions of humiliation and rejection. Aside from generalized nervousness, separation nervousness, obsessive-compulsive signs, and concern of hazard was additionally described. These kids additionally scored excessive in pressure and panic – the bodily manifestations of hysteria.

The Kids’s Despair Stock (CDI-2 SR) questionnaire revealed detrimental vanity, temper, and bodily signs. Many skilled practical issues with downside deciphering and feeling ineffective. On evaluating lengthy COVID with nervousness scores, post-COVID syndrome exhibited important correlations with obsessive-compulsive signs, social nervousness, and generalized nervousness.

The Trauma Symptom Guidelines for Kids-A (TSCC-A) questionnaire was used to check post-traumatic signs. Earlier than answering this self-assessment questionnaire, mother and father have been enquired whether or not their kids confronted any traumatic state of affairs instantly earlier than the an infection and through or post-infection. Few sufferers had excessive scores on this scale. Dissociative signs have been additionally famous, with few exhibiting overt dissociations and a few presenting with hidden dissociation. Despair, nervousness, and anger related to trauma have been additionally detected.

Evaluation of the outcomes revealed important correlations between post-COVID signs and scores of dissociations, PTSD, anger, and despair. No important affiliation was discovered between the questionnaire scales and parent-reported traumatic occasions.


Widespread lengthy COVID signs of pediatric sufferers have been just like these of older sufferers. Though the incidence of widespread lengthy COVID signs was increased in adults and the aged, the psychological manifestations appeared to persist longer in kids (6-17 years outdated). In the meantime, the neurological signs decreased over time within the pediatric inhabitants. Additional research exploring the connection between lengthy COVID and neuropsychiatric signs are warranted to plan to forestall power signs post-COVID.

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