The authors of the study surveyed children and adolescents 11-17 years old who took PCR tests for coronavirus from January to March 2021. The analysis included the data of 3 thousand schoolchildren who confirmed COVID-19, and 3.7 thousand of their peers with negative PCR tests. All participants completed detailed questionnaires about their health 15 weeks after the test.
The results showed that 66.6.5% of children with confirmed COVID-19 persist with one or more symptoms of coronavirus for more than three months, while 53.3% of people in the control group reported feeling unwell. Most often, children complained of headaches and constant fatigue. About 30% of schoolchildren who recovered had more than three long-term symptoms, compared with 16% of children who did not have coronavirus infection.
Scientists concluded that 14% of adolescents have long-term symptoms associated with COVID-19. It is not surprising that a large number of participants with negative PCR tests showed various ailments – this is typical for children in this age group, in addition, the study was conducted at a time when schoolchildren in England returned to school after prolonged isolation.
“Our research shows the importance of having a comparison group so as not to confuse long-term symptoms of COVID-19 with ill health not related to the coronavirus. Without a control group of young people, our findings would be difficult to interpret, ”said study co-author Roz Shafran.
The researchers noted that the data on the prevalence of postcoid manifestations in children was lower than in other studies. For example, earlier reports mentioned that more than half of infected children may experience long-term symptoms.