Pediatric long-COVID: An overlooked phenomenon?

Caroline L. H. Brackel, Coen R. Lap, Emilie P. Buddingh, Marlies A. van Houten, Linda J. T. M. van der Sande, Eveline J. Langereis, Michiel A. G. E. Bannier, Marielle W. H. Pijnenburg, Simone Hashimoto, Suzanne W. J. Terheggen-Lagro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Long-COVID is a well-documented multisystem disease in adults. Far less is known about long-term sequelae of COVID in children. Here, we report on the occurrence of long-COVID in Dutch children. Patients and Methods: We conducted a national survey asking Dutch pediatricians to share their experiences on long-COVID in children. We furthermore describe a case series of six children with long-COVID to explore the clinical features in greater detail. Results: With a response rate of 78% of Dutch pediatric departments, we identified 89 children, aged 2–18 years, suspected of long-COVID with various complaints. Of these children, 36% experienced severe limitations in daily function. The most common complaints were fatigue, dyspnea, and concentration difficulties with 87%, 55%, and 45% respectively. Our case series emphasizes the nonspecific and broad clinical manifestations seen in post-COVID complaints. Conclusion: Our study shows that long-COVID is also present in the pediatric population. The main symptoms resemble those previously described in adults. This novel condition demands a multidisciplinary approach with international awareness and consensus to aid early detection and effective management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2495-2502
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Volume56
Issue number8
Early online date2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • TB
  • infections
  • pneumonia
  • viral

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