From anxiety to rhinorrhoea, here are the symptoms of paediatric Long Covid

There are six possible areas of Long Covid symptoms in children and adolescents: psychiatric, otolaryngological, gastrointestinal, neurological, cardiovascular and pulmonary

The manifestations can be very varied: from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic disorders, anosmia (loss of sense of smell), abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rhinorrhoea (the so-called ‘runny nose’), coughing and breathing difficulties.


This confirms that, just as in adults, long covid is a condition with unclear boundaries that may or may not manifest itself differently in each person

This was highlighted by Alberto Villani, director of the department of Emergency, Acceptance and General Paediatrics at the Bambino Gesù paediatric hospital in Rome, speaking at the webinar ‘Long Covid: ready to face the present and future impact of the pandemic?’, organised online by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Iss).

In Italy, the project ‘Analysis and response strategies for the long-term effects of Covid-19 infection (long-Covid)’, funded by the Ministry of Health and coordinated by the Italian National Institute of Health, was launched with the aim of monitoring the long-term effects of the infection, increasing knowledge and standardising the approach and clinical management at national level.

Symptoms of long covid in children

“These are symptoms that can affect all systems and are often frequent in children even beyond Covid,’ Villani said, ‘so it is difficult to prove a clear causal link.

Therefore, according to the expert, ‘it is necessary to find a way to standardise post-Covid follow-up and to establish access criteria’.

Villani recalled that for this very reason the Italian Society of Paediatrics has recently drawn up a consensus document recommending that ‘all children and adolescents with a suspected or proven diagnosis of Coronavirus should be visited four weeks after the acute phase of the infection to check for possible long C. symptoms’.

The Sip also recommended that, in any case, even in the absence of these symptoms, a further check-up should be scheduled 3 months after the diagnosis of Sars-CoV-2 infection to confirm that everything is normal or to address emerging problems through a thorough assessment of them.

The true prevalence of Long Covid among children and adolescents is not yet determined and rates vary from 4 to 60% depending on the study

The same is true of the prevalence among adults, where there are almost 50 symptoms that can occur in different ways from person to person and affect all systems.

It is precisely this uncertainty that gave rise to the idea of the project ‘Analysis and response strategies for the long-term effects of Covid-19 infection (long-Covid)’, to provide answers to long-C., considered by experts as the new health emergency.

The project, which will involve a number of institutions in three regions (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Tuscany, Apulia) for two years, aims to define the dimensions of the long-C. phenomenon, its distribution throughout the country, good practices for dealing with it, and to arrive at the structuring of a national network.

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Agenzia Dire

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