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After COVID-19, kids have more symptoms but less anxiety

27/06 - Persistent health problems were only slightly more common in children after COVID-19 than in similarly-aged kids who avoided the virus, researchers from Denmark reported in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Anxiety levels, however, were higher in children who never had COVID-19, the researchers also found.

They said 40% of infants and toddlers with COVID-19 and 27% of their uninfected peers experienced at least one symptom for more than two months. Among kids ages 4 to 11, persistent symptoms were seen in 38% with COVID-19 and 34% without it. And among 12- to 14-year-olds, 46% of those with COVID-19 and 41% of those without it had long-lasting symptoms. The results were based on a survey of nearly 11,000 mothers of infected children and nearly 33,000 mothers of uninfected kids.

While symptoms associated with long COVID such as headache, mood swings, abdominal pain and fatigue are often experienced by otherwise healthy children, infected children had longer-lasting symptoms and one-third had new symptoms that developed after COVID-19.

To the researchers' surprise, children who had COVID-19 experienced fewer psychological and social problems than those in the control group. They speculated this may be because the uninfected children had more "fear of the unknown disease and more restricted everyday life due to protecting themselves from catching the virus."

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