A quarter of children and teenagers hospitalized with coronavirus infection early in the pandemic still have health problems two to four months later, according to a study from Boston Children’s Hospital, published Friday in the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers interviewed caregivers of patients younger than 21 years of age who were hospitalized with COVID-19 or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). The study period lasted from May 2020 to May 2021 before the vaccines became available.
Of these children and youth, approximately 40% were hospitalized with a severe case of COVID-19 and approximately 60% with MIS-C. Respectively, 50% and 86% were admitted to the intensive care unit.
At two- to four-month follow-up, 27% of patients with severe COVID-19 and 30% of those with MIS-C had persistent symptoms, impaired activity, or both.
“Almost three-quarters returned to baseline, which is reassuring,” says researcher Adrian Randolph. But unfortunately, more than one in four people do not. Although this is much better than many reports in hospitalized seniors, it is still very concerning. The risks of serious illness and long-term complications outweigh the risk of complications from the vaccine, which are rare.
The expert noted that the study was limited to hospitalized children and teenagers and was early in the pandemic; Many were allowed before the Delta variant arrived.
“We are in the process of analyzing recent data spanning the delta period and part of the omicron period, including effects on health-related quality of life,” said Adrian Randolph. I think there is a possibility of differences. It is important to understand how all the different variants affect children and to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent long-term complications.
“Now that vaccines are available, I strongly recommend that children and adolescents get vaccinated,” she added. We know that patients can become reinfected even if they have had Covid-19, and we have previously shown that vaccination can prevent MIS-C and severe COVID-19.”