Coronavirus outbreak and kids - Harvard Health

Coronavirus Symptoms Day by Day in Kids, Adults and Old age

Coronavirus Symptoms Day by Day in Kids, Adults and Old age

Symptoms may present differently in different age groups and with different Adults and children from their 13th on Day 0 and Day It's easy to confuse the early symptom of COVID with those of other If it's a school day, keep the sick child home from school;. people with symptoms that may be caused by COVID, Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test.

Coronavirus Symptoms Day by Day in Kids, Adults and Old age - Likely

Cutting through the confusion about kids, teens and COVID exposures

It’s pretty confusing to be a parent of a school-age or preschool child right now.

Are your kid’s sniffles and fever an early sign of COVID? Or just a cold or allergies? What should you do next?

Or what if they’re feeling fine, but your school, their friend’s parents, or the soccer coach says someone your child has been around has COVID?

Or what if you find out that your teen’s friend is sick but your teen didn’t think – or want - to tell you?

These questions have gotten more urgent in recent weeks. Cases of COVID in children are rising fast, with nearly one-third of new cases now happening in young people. School and activities are in full swing, but COVID-related mask and quarantine policies vary from district to district. Flu season looms. And there’s still no COVID vaccine authorized for kids under 12, though one is probably coming later this fall. Meanwhile, vaccination is lagging in teens and adults in some communities, and clinics and hospitals are jammed with COVID and more.

Even if a child or teen doesn’t get seriously ill from coronavirus, they can spread it to others who could. That will make the pandemic last even longer for all of us.

Plus, whenever a child has to stay home in quarantine, that can affect their schooling. It can also affect their parents’ ability to work – especially in the frontline jobs that keep our society running.

“Because of the way this disease spreads, through the air, and because the Delta variant of this coronavirus is even easier to catch, it’s up to all of us to take steps including appropriate masking, distancing and vaccination, and to share information about infections in a timely way,” said Emily Somers, Ph.D., an epidemiologist who is a professor of internal medicine at Michigan Medicine and an advisor to her daughters’ school district on COVID prevention. “The more we do, the better our children’s chances of being able to attend school in person without interruption, and the faster we can be done with this pandemic.”

So, here’s a handy guide for parents on what to do about quarantine, isolation, masking, testing and sharing information with others, based on the latest evidence.

Answer the questions below to get guidance for different situations. This guide is based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, but local school districts may have additional or slightly different guidance; check with your school administration to be sure.

First question:

Does your child or teen have symptoms that might be COVID?

(If not, skip down to the next section)

It’s easy to confuse the early symptom of COVID with those of other illnesses and allergies: fever, chills, cough, problems breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, or diarrhea.

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But right now, if they have one or more of these, think COVID first – especially if they are too young to be vaccinated or they are old enough, but haven’t gotten vaccinated.

After thinking about COVID first, be sure your child is not seriously ill: short of breath, confused, or unresponsive. If they seem seriously ill, bring them to the emergency room, preferably at a children’s hospital — even if you do not know yet whether this is COVID Kids with another medical problem (such as bad asthma or a weakened immune system) are at particular risk of getting seriously ill from COVID

If it’s coronavirus, your child is most likely to spread it just before and just after their symptoms started. What you do next could make a big difference for your family and other people around your child, especially adults who aren’t vaccinated.

Even if they’re vaccinated, there’s a low chance that it could be a ‘breakthrough’ case of COVID. If it is, they could infect other people for a few days, so you should follow these steps too.

Take these steps now:

  • Keep them home until you can get them tested and you know the test results:

    • Keep them in their own room with the door closed as much as possible, and windows open (if they usually share a bedroom, get the other person’s clothes and other essentials out, and have them sleep on the couch or in another room).

    • If it’s a school day, keep the sick child home from school; also keep them home from sports, activities, playing with friends, religious services, events and gatherings. No matter how much they or you might want to go or what fun outings or important school tests they might have to miss, they need to stay home right now.

    • Both you and they should wear a mask when you’re in a room or car together.

    • Keep siblings and others away from them.

    • Have them wear a mask if they leave their room, and use a separate bathroom if that’s possible.

    • Give them fever-reducing medicine according to the instructions on the label if they have a high temperature.

    • Encourage them to rest, and bring them food and water. 

    • Keep them entertained with TV, digital devices, books and drawing while they’re alone in their room.

    • Even though this is called being in “isolation”, give them love and encouragement, even if it’s mostly through text messages, video chats or conversations through the door.

  • Call their doctor or nurse practitioner to let them know, or send an electronic message to them through your patient portal if you have one. Follow their advice for treating mild symptoms.

  • If symptoms get worse, call your child’s health provider. Any shortness of breath, confusion or lack of responsiveness should be treated as an emergency.

  • Get them tested. These days you have two choices, but you may want to use them both at once.

    • Rapid tests are now available for a low cost at stores, and for free from some schools and health departments. They are very accurate for people with symptoms and give results in about 15 minutes. These are called antigen tests and look something like a home pregnancy test. You may want to buy one even if your child doesn’t have symptoms,  just to have it on hand and not have to go to the store if they wake up not feeling well.

    • PCR tests, also called viral tests, are the “gold standard” for accuracy. They’re free to everyone, but it can take days to get the results. Your child can get tested at drug stores, urgent care centers, health clinics and other locations, but you may need an appointment and not all locations test very young children. Find a testing location.

    • If you choose to do a rapid test, consider also taking your child for a PCR test. Official health statistics usually focus on PCR test results reported by testing labs to local health departments. If your child gets severely ill or has a medical condition that puts them at high risk of severe illness, having a PCR test result already available could mean they get faster access to specialized treatments such as monoclonal antibodies, which are most effective when used early.

  • Tell your child’s school and anyone your child was near in the past few days that there’s a chance your child has COVID. Promise to update them either way when you get a test result. This kind of timely notification is critical if it turns out it is COVID, especially if your child was around an unvaccinated or medically vulnerable friend, relative or teammate.

  • Don’t feel ashamed or guilty that your child might have COVID, or think that this is something you shouldn’t share information about. Schools, daycare centers, and coaches will likely appreciate that you have done a responsible thing for others. The Delta form of the coronavirus is super easy to catch, especially when there are a lot of cases in your area. But do think about possible places they might have been exposed in the past few days.

  • Once you get your test results:

    • If the rapid test or PCR test is negative:

      • This means your child most likely doesn’t have COVID

      • If you used a rapid test, your kit likely came with a second swab that should be used within 36 hours to double-check the result because COVID infections can take a day or more to show on such tests. Use this second swab as directed and if it shows a positive result, keep your child isolated.

      • If your child has no fever, tell everyone you contacted that your child is probably COVID-free and send them back to school when they feel well enough.

      • If they have a fever, keep them home until 24 hours have passed after the last high temperature, even if they were otherwise feeling well.

      • If they’re old enough to get vaccinated, and they aren’t yet, start their vaccination process.

    • If the rapid test or PCR test is positive:

      • This means your child likely has COVID

      • Keep them in isolation at home until 10 days after their symptoms started. See more information about what this means above.

      • Tell their school, their doctor’s office and everyone who was around your child starting two days before their symptoms that your child has COVID.

      • Anyone who was within 6 feet of your child for more than 15 minutes starting two days before their symptoms began is now considered a “close contact” of a person with COVID. They now need to follow directions depending on whether they are vaccinated, had a mask on, or neither. This includes anyone who lives with the child and was in the same room with them for 15 minutes or more starting two days before the symptoms started.

      • Even if your child feels better while their day isolation goes on, they could still spread the virus, so they can’t “test out” of this isolation period.

      • Ask their school about options for keeping up with schoolwork remotely.

      • Encourage your child to have video chats with friends but do not allow friends to come inside the house. You could ask the friend’s parents if it would be OK for them to talk with your child from outside through an open window or door, as long as they keep a distance of at least six feet.

      • After 10 days, if your child’s fever is gone, they can return to school and normal activities. But keep them home if they still have a fever, until 24 hours after it goes away without the help of medicine.

      • If they’re old enough to get vaccinated, and they aren’t yet, start their vaccination process after they get better and their fever is gone.

Second question:

Is your child vaccinated?

(If not, skip down to the next question)

Vaccination makes a big difference in the risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus, so the rules for what vaccinated teens and adults have to do after an exposure to COVID are much different. And once children under 12 are able to be vaccinated, the same will be true for them.

Simply put, vaccinated people don’t have to quarantine (stay home) after having close contact with someone who has COVID.

Close contact means being with 6 feet of someone, with or without a mask on, for at least 15 minutes when the other person has COVID symptoms, or when the other person has no symptoms but they went on to develop symptoms or test positive within two days after the close contact.

If a teen or adult is fully vaccinated and finds out that they recently had a close contact with such a person:

  • They don’t have to quarantine (stay home) unless they develop symptoms

    • If they develop symptoms, they should stay home and go into isolation (see above).

    • Remember that vaccination doesn’t protect against all cases of COVID, but it does make it much less likely that someone will have severe COVID if they do develop a “breakthrough” case.

  • They DO need to:

    • Wear a mask when they are at school, work or anywhere in public indoors, for 14 days after the close contact. If they need to remove their mask at school, for instance to eat lunch at school, they should stay more than six feet away from other people just in case they later test positive with a ‘breakthrough’ case.

    • Get tested three to five days after the close contact with the person who has COVID, even if that contact was a few days before that person started feeling symptoms. Because rapid tests are less accurate in people without symptoms, it’s probably best to get a PCR test, but they don’t have to quarantine while they wait for the results.

Remember: “Fully vaccinated” means it had been at least two weeks since your child got the second dose of a vaccine when they were exposed to someone with COVID

Some local health departments and school districts also allow children who recovered from a confirmed case of COVID in the past three months to follow the same guidance as vaccinated people when it comes to being allowed to come to school, because of the temporary “natural immunity” that comes from a previous COVID infection. If your child has had COVID recently, and you have a record of their positive PCR test, see if your district will count this. Scientists are still learning how natural immunity is different from immunity from vaccines.

Third question:

Was your unvaccinated child in a classroom when they were near someone who now has COVID?

(If they weren’t in a classroom skip down to the next question)

Cloth masks and other masks such as KN95s definitely reduce the chance that the coronavirus will enter the body of someone who’s wearing a mask when they get near a person with COVID.

And if the person with COVID is also wearing a mask, that can really cut down the amount of coronavirus that reaches other people.

But masks are not perfect and work best in combination with vaccination and testing when people feel ill.

Thanks to increasing knowledge about coronavirus in classroom settings, there are special rules for children in school, when both the child with COVID and the child without are wearing good-fitting masks that cover the nose and mouth:

  • If your unvaccinated child was masked, but the person with COVID was not, or if they both weren’t masked, and they were within 6 feet of one another inside a classroom or in any setting where they were within 6 feet of one another:

Final question:

Did your child or teen get within 6 feet of a person with COVID, indoors or outdoors, for 15 minutes or more, anywhere outside of a classroom?

In any setting outside a classroom, the 6 feet/15 minutes rule gives a rule of thumb for figuring out if someone is considered a “close contact” of someone with COVID This is true for kids, teens and adults too.

If they are, they should take steps to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. This is true even if they were close together outdoors, and even if one or both of them were wearing a mask.

But just as above, vaccination status makes a difference:

  • If a teen or adult is vaccinated:

  • If the child is too young to get vaccinated, or the teen or adult isn’t fully vaccinated:

The bottom line

Vaccination, testing people with symptoms, distancing and masking by everyone in classrooms and other settings can make the difference between having to miss school, work, activities and events, and being able to avoid or shorten quarantine. And early notification, good use of tests and staying home when sick, or possibly contagious, can keep the spread of COVID down.

Special thanks to Emily Somers, Ph.D., and Jonathan Golob, M.D., Ph.D., for reviewing this article for accuracy.

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Источник: [storycall.us]

Long COVID in children: How long might it last?

  • A recent review included 14 international studies on long COVID in children and adolescents involving nearly 20, participants.
  • Some studies indicated no difference in the symptoms reported by those who had experienced COVID and those who had not.
  • The review found little evidence to suggest that symptoms of long COVID typically last longer than 12 weeks in children and adolescents.

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus huband follow our live updates page for the most recent information on the COVID pandemic.

The say that for most people who develop COVID, the symptoms dissipate within weeks of onset.

Yet, some individuals experience ongoing health problems, such as fatigue, cardiorespiratory, and neurological symptoms, weeks after the initial onset of their illness — a phenomenon commonly referred to as long COVID.

While the CDC reports that post-COVID symptoms appear to be less common in children and adolescents than in adults, children have reported experiencing long-term health issues following a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

A review, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Australia, recently appeared in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

The review encompassed 14 studies involving 19, children and adolescents.

In these participants, for those who reported experiencing persistent symptoms after developing COVID, the most common symptoms reported 4–12 weeks after acute infection were headache, fatigue, sleep disturbance, concentration difficulties, and abdominal pain.

Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

Not enough data

From the start of the pandemic to the beginning of September this year, nearly million children have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The new review authors point out that even if only a small number of those individuals experience long COVID, the overall impact can be considerable.

However, they found that almost all the existing studies had significant limitations, prompting the authors to stress in the review that new studies are urgently needed to look at the risk of long COVID in this population.

Review co-author Dr. Petra Zimmermann, a senior lecturer at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and an honorary fellow at MCRI, spoke with Medical News Today.

She explained that health researchers need to have a clear understanding of the impact of long COVID in children and adolescents to help guide authorities in making vaccine policy decisions.

“As children are often asymptomatic or have mild symptoms when [contracting infection] with SARS-CoV-2, one of the reasons to [vaccinate] them is to protect them against long-term consequences from SARS-CoV-2, such as [multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children] and long COVID,” Dr. Zimmermann wrote.

“Therefore, we need to accurately determine the risk of long COVID in this age group. Often, just a single study is cited to give a prevalence of persisting symptoms. We wanted to summarize them to get a better overview.”

In the review, Dr. Zimmermann and co-authors Dr. Laure Pittet and Dr. Nigel Curtis found that some studies indicate no difference in the symptoms reported by those who had developed COVID and those who had not.

According to the authors, this highlights how long COVID symptoms are difficult to distinguish from pandemic-associated symptoms.

“Only a few studies have a control group of children and adolescents who have not [acquired the infection],” Dr. Zimmermann pointed out to MNT.

“Of the five studies that did have a control group, two did not find a difference between the children who had [contracted the infection] and those who had not. This means that the symptoms attributed to long COVID are very difficult to differentiate from symptoms that [arise for other reasons related to the pandemic] — such as school closures, lockdowns, not being able to see friends or do sports and hobbies, seeing friends and family suffering or even dying from COVID, being worried to transmit the virus to others, and many more.”

Another significant finding of the review: the studies indicated symptoms of long COVID rarely last longer than 12 weeks in children and adolescents.

Studies saddled with limitations

The review authors highlight several major limitations of the studies. They state that one problem is that no clear definition of long COVID currently exists, nor do researchers agree on how long the phenomenon typically lasts.

The review points out that over symptoms have links to long COVID — many of which are also prevalent in the general population, including fatigue and joint paint.

“It is a new virus, so it is more difficult to study than something clinicians and researchers are familiar with,” Dr. Zimmermann told MNT. “Each day, we learn new things and have to adapt our clinical management and our research.”

Additionally, the review authors explain some of the studies relied on participants self-reporting that they had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 rather than utilizing laboratory confirmation. Most studies also relied on self-reported symptoms without physical exams.

Another limitation that Dr. Zimmermann highlighted is that many of the studies had a low response rate. In the , for instance, researchers invited over 50, children and young people who had taken COVID tests to complete a questionnaire about their symptoms. Only about 13% responded.

“It is likely that individuals with persisting symptoms are more likely to respond than those who feel healthy, which can lead to selection bias and overestimating the rate of persistent symptoms,” Dr. Zimmermann said.

Other studies, she added, recruited participants from support groups for parents of children experiencing long COVID. “This will also lead to an overestimation of the prevalence,” Dr. Zimmermann wrote.

Additionally, the studies included participants from a wide range of ages. The review’s authors suspect the prevalence and symptoms of long COVID vary between younger children and adolescents.

The researchers also point out that all of the studies took place before the Delta variant became prevalent. Children and adolescents who contract this variant may face a different risk of experiencing long COVID, they write — another factor that researchers should consider in future studies.

A useful summary

MNT also spoke with Dr. Tina Tan, a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and pediatric infectious diseases attending at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, both in Chicago.

She said the review does a good job of illustrating the urgent need for additional research on how long COVID impacts children and adolescents.

“This study is very good in pointing out the fact that we just need more specific and accurate information to determine: one, what the symptoms are, even though the symptoms probably in most kids are going to be very similar to what we see in adults, and then, two, what the consequences of children having these symptoms for prolonged periods of time might be,” Dr. Tan commented.

Earlier in the pandemic, Dr. Tan explained the general consensus was that children were less likely to develop COVID and were more likely to be asymptomatic when they did develop it.

With the Delta variant, she added, more children are testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, and more are being hospitalized. Dr. Tan explained that she believes this will lead to more research into the impact of long COVID in children and adolescents.

“I think what’s also really important about this study is that it shows that kids do get COVID, and they do get sick with COVID They can have long COVID symptoms, and this is one of the major reasons why kids who are eligible for vaccinations should be vaccinated.”

– Dr. Tan

Recommendations for future researchers

The review authors recommend that future studies investigate the severity of the individual’s initial disease and consider how that impacts the likelihood of developing long COVID.

They also hope to see studies that include “rigorous control groups,” which would include children admitted to the hospital for reasons other than COVID

“Also, the underlying mechanisms should be identified and whether long COVID can be prevented by vaccination,” Dr. Zimmermann told MNT.

For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID, click here.

Источник: [storycall.us]

Has the Delta variant changed the symptoms of COVID?

It has been said many times that the arrival of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has changed the course of the pandemic. It is more transmissible than previous variants and has quickly become the dominant variant across the world. And because the vaccines are less effective against it, although still effective enough, it has brought the need for booster shots to the forefront of the debate.

A new study has shown that the symptoms that the infection presents have also changed. According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of COVID are:

1.     A new or persistent cough

2.     A fever or raised temperature

3.     A loss in the sense of smell or taste

4.     Tiredness

But results from the Zoe COVID Symptom study which monitors the symptoms of millions of people who test positive for the virus in the UK, both who are fully vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated, shows that for those who are fully vaccinated the top five symptoms are:

1.     Headache

2.     Runny Nose

3.     Sneezing

4.     Sore throat

5.     Loss of smell

For those who are unvaccinated, the top five symptoms are:

1.     Headache

2.     Sore throat

3.     Runny nose

4.     Fever

5.     Persistent cough

If we are to continue to test and isolate individuals and their contacts who potentially have COVID to help manage its spread, it is important that we recognise the wide-ranging symptoms it can present so more people know when to put themselves forward for testing. At a time where real-world data has never been more accessible and acting on it is never more urgent, it is key that countries recognise this and broaden their testing criteria.

Progress Report: Why are COVID vaccines dividing us?

We live in a world where everyone has an opinion, which can be instantly shared with millions of people across the world via social media. This can be a good thing when getting factual information out: We have seen how important it is to share personal stories from those living in areas of conflict so people can have an insider’s view of what it is like on the ground. Most recently, this has shone an important light on the plight of women in Afghanistan. However, at the same time, social media can be used to spread stories that contain inaccuracies and in the case of the COVID vaccines, misinformation.

Vaccines have never been as divisive a topic as they are today.

Being vital medicines, vaccines have saved the lives of millions of people around the world since their inception and have been responsible for the eradication of diseases such as smallpox and a massive reduction in the incidence of polio.

The relatively new mRNA technology that is being used in some of the COVID vaccines is now being researched in the hope it might help end other diseases like malaria. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are classed as mRNA vaccines, they contain a piece of genetic material that carries instructions on how to make a protein that resembles the “spike protein” on the outer surface of the coronavirus. The cells with the mRNA message make “spike proteins” and display them on their outer surface, our immune systems recognise these as foreign and prepare a short and long-term immune response. Once it has passed on its instructions, our cells break down the mRNA in a matter of days and it ceases to exist.

There has always been a minority of people who have been opposed to vaccines but the COVID vaccines seem to have encouraged these people to move from the fringes of society to mainstream platforms and where before they were being ridiculed for their stance on vaccines, they are now being applauded and their voices amplified even by people who have previously been happy to take vaccines. And of course, there are those who believe the entire pandemic is a hoax and part of some wider sinister plan to reset the world order and somehow control entire populations.

This has of course angered those who have suffered first-hand as a result of the coronavirus, the healthcare workers who have been working tirelessly to care for the sick and the scientists who have escalated their efforts to come up with potential treatments and cures.

Many countries have seen public demonstrations against lockdowns and social distancing measures, as well as rallies against the use of vaccinations. Some have even seen healthcare facilities where COVID patients are being treated or where vaccines are being administered, vandalised and in some of the worst cases, healthcare professionals being abused and threatened.

[Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]

But how did we get to this stage?

In the initial stages of the pandemic, people seemed to come together. There was a feeling of unity against an invisible virus that posed a credible threat to us all. People were supportive of healthcare workers and some countries even saw organised “claps” for those risking their lives working on the frontline. When those who were vulnerable were asked to shield and stay at home, communities came together to arrange and deliver food parcels so that they wouldn’t go without food whilst keeping safe. People seemed to understand the need for lockdowns and social distancing as offices shut down and workers were asked to stay at home. But as time went on, different groups of people had differing experiences of the pandemic. Generally, adults fell into three camps:

1.     Those who were directly affected by the illness that COVID brought, including those working on the front line.

2.     Those who were affected by only the economic consequences of the pandemic.

3.     Those who feel they are largely unaffected by the pandemic – people who ignored advice or lived in such a way the restrictions did not affect them.

This divide caused conflict. Those who were suffering economically could not balance the need for lockdowns against the large-scale financial devastation being caused by these restrictions, and those who were experiencing the real-life horrors on the front line could think of no other way to stop the deluge of sick patients presenting at hospitals. Children also suffered as school closures had a detrimental effect on education and they no longer had the opportunities for social interactions that they depend on for development, and this overwhelmed and stressed many parents.

The pandemic also divided people along socioeconomic and racial lines. It became apparent early on that those who were living in poorer socioeconomic areas were most likely to become sick from the virus. A chronic lack of investment in these communities forced them to live in overcrowded housing. Combined with an already increased risk of other health conditions due to poverty, this put them at higher risk of dying from the virus.

It was the same for those from minority backgrounds. They too were more likely to live in poorer neighbourhoods, work in jobs they could not do from home and many also had pre-existing health conditions that increased their risk of getting seriously sick from the virus.

As time went on, the economic damage deepened, and for those whose livelihoods were at risk, the idea of protecting the vulnerable at their expense began to wear thin. The goodwill offered to front-line workers also started to fade, with people voicing their opposition to how healthcare workers were being lauded in public forums; they began to see them as a symbol of lockdowns and restrictions.

Then came the vaccines.

Initially, the reception was positive. We finally had a tool that could potentially herald the beginning of the end of the pandemic. People were hopeful. But anti-vaxxers soon jumped online and began to spread misinformation about them in an attempt to thwart the vaccination effort.

It did not help that the early messaging about the vaccines was unclear, although it later changed as more evidence emerged, including information around their safety during pregnancy and whether or not they could be given to women trying to conceive. It is now clear that on balance, it is safer for pregnant women to take the vaccines than risk getting COVID and also that the vaccines have no effect on fertility. Despite this, misinformation about the vaccines causing infertility persists.

People who are against the vaccines have been especially vocal, and anti-vaxxers have seen their support and numbers grow. This appears to have worsened as governments start to vaccinate younger age groups. A recent rally in London saw people opposed to the vaccination of children bombarding healthcare professionals with neo-Nazi slurs and telling them they were going to be hanged like the doctors and nurses in the Nuremberg trials. This caused immense distress amongst healthcare professionals who have been risking their own lives looking after others throughout the pandemic.

We must not ignore the part that news outlets have played in encouraging this divide throughout the pandemic. News channels now tend to rely on clickbait online articles and heated television debates to reel viewers in. This has meant more and more controversial voices have been given platforms on major media outlets, both on television and in print, for the simple reason that they benefit news corporations. They may dress it up as presenting “both sides of an argument”, but when one side is not based on evidence and relies only on the opinion of an unqualified individual, they are only serving to spread further misinformation. These heated debates and opinion pieces have sowed the seeds of doubt in many people’s minds when it comes to the vaccines, potentially leading to the deaths of some of those who got COVID after choosing not to get vaccinated because they were influenced by the misinformation they saw online or on television.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has divided us in more ways than one. It will take time to heal and will require leadership from those in charge. There are individuals, big organisations and even whole countries who stand to benefit by deepening these divides. Whether or not they will succeed remains to be seen, but this doctor feels there is more to be gained from coming together than being pulled further apart.

Good News: Long COVID in children less common than originally thought

A group of researchers led by University College London have concluded that the risk of Long COVID in children is much lower than previously feared. They surveyed more than 50, children aged between 11 and 17 who had tested positive for coronavirus in England between September and March According to their results, between 2 percent and 14 percent of these children still had symptoms 15 weeks after their initial infection, but few had continuing symptoms that required them to seek medical help or take significant time off school.

[Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]

Initial studies carried out in Rome, that interviewed children aged between six and 16 from March to November , reported that more than a third had one or two lingering symptoms after four months. So these latest findings, although still worrying, will reassure parents that if their child was to catch the virus, there is less risk than originally thought of them going on to develop Long COVID.

But the risk of Long COVID, although smaller, does still exist and the authors of the study are anxious to point out that the numbers were still not trivial and the illness needed to be taken seriously in children.

It is clear from this study that children are not “immune” from the effects of this virus, a narrative that many continue to pedal, but it is welcome news that they may be less susceptible to Long COVID than originally thought.

In the Doctor’s Surgery: How the pandemic is affecting the mental health of my patients

Mental health has been an ongoing concern throughout the pandemic. Initially, I was seeing patients who were so worried about contracting the virus that they began to show symptoms of anxiety and altered mood. I also saw an exacerbation of symptoms in those living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as the continuing messaging around hygiene and cleaning surfaces had detrimental effects on their mental health and many of them had to seek medical attention.

More recently, I am seeing the longer-term effects of the pandemic on my patients’ mental health.  Some have lost loved ones and are now suffering symptoms of depression that go beyond those expected from a bereavement reaction. There are young people suffering anxiety at the thought of going back to school and university. There are people who have suffered financial hardship as a consequence of multiple lockdowns whose mental health has deteriorated. It can be difficult listening to all these personal stories of hardship all day, but however hard it is for me, it is much harder for them.

Mental health problems can strike any one of us at any point in our lives. It is important to recognise the symptoms and seek help. There are many symptoms of anxiety and depression, both physical and mental, but the most common ones are:

·       Continuously feeling sad or low in mood

·       Feeling hopeless or getting tearful

·       Having no motivation or interest in things you used to enjoy

·       Getting no enjoyment out of life

·       Constantly being on edge or having a continuing sense of dread

For some people, their anxiety or depression may get so severe they have thoughts of harming themselves.

Physical symptoms can include tiredness, palpitations, dizziness and breathlessness.

Whatever your symptoms, it is important you talk to someone about them, preferably a medical professional. There are lots of treatment options available and the experts will work with you to decide what is best for you. This can take the form of talking therapy, social prescribing – eg exercise and nature on prescription, or medication, or it may be a combination of these things. It is important to think about mental health in the same way you think about physical health: Take it seriously and do things every day to keep your mind healthy. Taking daily exercise, spending time in green spaces and talking about how you are feeling have all been proven to help with poor mental health. Don’t downplay your symptoms – they are important and healthcare professionals will take you seriously if you open up to them.

I have lost patients to mental health conditions and passionately advocate for those suffering from poor mental health. Please do not suffer in silence.

Reader’s Question: Do vaccines help prevent Long COVID?

Answer: Yes.

A study carried out by Kings College London has shown that being fully vaccinated cuts the odds of symptoms lasting longer than four weeks by 50 percent.

Long COVID is identified when symptoms persist for four weeks or more following the initial COVID infection. The study looked at nearly a million people who were fully vaccinated and only went on to test positive for COVID. Of these , only 31, which is 5 percent of the cohort, reported symptoms four weeks or more after infection. In the unvaccinated group, this figure was 11 percent. This is another reason to take the vaccine when offered it.

Source: Al Jazeera


Related

Is it safer to risk the rare side effects of jabs than catching COVID without the protection that vaccines offer?

The Delta variant is wreaking havoc around the world, proving we will only be safe when everyone is safe.

Pfizer and BioNTech say trial results show the vaccine is safe and produces a robust immune response in children.

New daily cases reach highest level in 17 months after curbs relaxed for highly vaccinated population.

Источник: [storycall.us]

Advice on playdates, social distancing, and healthy behaviors to help prevent infection

Children's lives have been turned upside down by this pandemic. Between remote schooling and playdates being cancelled, children's routines are anything but routine. Kids also have questions about coronavirus, and benefit from age-appropriate answers that don't fuel the flame of anxiety. It also helps to discuss — and role model — things they can control, like hand washing, physical distancing, and other health-promoting behaviors.

Which COVID vaccines has the FDA authorized for children?

In May , the FDA expanded its emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine to include adolescents 12 to 15 years old. Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for use in children 16 years and older. For now, this is the only vaccine authorized in the U.S. for anyone under age

The EUA’s expanded authorization was based on results from a Phase 3 trial of children ages 12 to The trial enrolled 2, adolescents; half received the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, the other received a saltwater placebo.

The immune response in the vaccinated adolescent group was even stronger than that in vaccinated to year-olds enrolled in an earlier study. In addition, a total of 16 symptomatic cases of COVID were reported during the trial, all in the placebo group, which meant that the vaccine had been % effective in preventing COVID

Vaccine-related side effects were mild and included pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever, and joint pain. Pfizer has also started testing the vaccine in children younger than 12 years.

A CDC report published in MMWR in October showed that to year-olds who’d gotten two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were 93% less likely than those who were unvaccinated to be hospitalized for COVID The investigators looked at hospitalizations of adolescents across the US from June through September, when the Delta variant was predominant. COVID-related hospitalizations in children and adolescents are still relatively rare; the majority of participants in this study had at least one underlying medical condition that put them at increased risk for severe illness.

I have been hearing about heart problems in kids and young adults following the COVID vaccine. Should I still get my child vaccinated?

There has a been a higher-than-expected number of heart inflammation cases after vaccination with the mRNA COVID vaccines, particularly among boys and young men. However, the CDC still strongly recommends that all children 12 years and older be vaccinated.

As of July 12, , 1, reports of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) had been reported in people under age 30, particularly in male teens and young adults, after vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has said available data "suggest likely association of myocarditis with mRNA vaccination in adolescents and young adults." Even with the increased risk, heart inflammation is a rare occurrence.

Myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination was most common in males ages 16 to Cases tended to occur within several days after the second mRNA vaccine dose. Most people who developed myocarditis or pericarditis had mild cases and recovered completely after treatment.

If your child develops any of the following symptoms within a week of vaccination, seek medical care:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling like your heart is beating fast, fluttering, or pounding.

This or any other potential significant side effect of a vaccine is always of special concern in children. While the risk of COVID causing severe illness and hospitalization is much lower compared to adults, it’s important to remember that at least children ages 0 to 17 years have died from COVID. In addition, long-term adverse health effects even after mild infection in children are now being recognized.

It’s understandable that many parents will be uncomfortable with either choice, vaccinate now or wait. But the rise of the more contagious and possibly more dangerous Delta variant, combined with the protection offered by herd immunity, supports the CDC recommendation that all children ages 12 year and older get vaccinated.

How does COVID affect children?

Children, including very young children, can develop COVID Many of them have no symptoms. Those that do get sick tend to experience milder symptoms such as low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough. Some children have had severe complications, but this has been less common. Children with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe illness.

A potentially severe and dangerous complication can occur in children. Called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), it can lead to life-threatening problems with the heart and other organs in the body. In this condition, different body parts, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs, can become inflamed.  

Symptoms of MIS-C can include

  • fever lasting more than a couple of days
  • rash
  • "bloodshot eyes"(redness of the white part of the eye)
  • stomachache
  • vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • a large, swollen lymph node in the neck
  • neck pain
  • red, cracked lips
  • a tongue that is redder than usual and looks like a strawberry
  • swollen hands and/or feet
  • irritability and/or unusual sleepiness or weakness.

Many conditions can cause symptoms similar to those of MIS-C. Your doctor will first want to know if your child has been around someone who has tested positive for the virus and will ask about all of the above symptoms. Results of the physical examination, a COVID diagnostic or blood antibody test, and other medical tests that check for inflammation and how organs are functioning can support the diagnosis of MIS-C.

Call the doctor if your child develops symptoms, particularly if their fever lasts for more than a couple of days. If the symptoms get any worse or just don't improve, call again or bring your child to an emergency room.

Doctors have had success using various treatments for inflammation, as well as treatments to support organ systems that are having trouble. While there have been some deaths, most children who have developed MIS-C have recovered.

The journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health published a study that looked at the long-term health effects of MIS-C on 46 children hospitalized with MIS-C between April and September All of the children had systemic inflammation; most also had problems related to gastrointestinal, heart, and kidney function, and clot formation. By six months after the children were discharged from the hospital, most of these problems had resolved, without lasting organ damage in most cases. About one-third of the children continued to have muscle weakness, fatigue, and mental health difficulties. But the study could not determine whether these effects were due to MIS-C in particular, or to hospitalization, or other factors.

When will children be able to get the COVID vaccine?

In November , the CDC recommended that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech pediatric COVID vaccine. The recommendation followed the FDA’s authorization of the vaccine for children in this age group.

As with older children and adults, 5-toyear-olds will need two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, spaced three weeks apart. But they will receive a lower dose (10 micrograms) compared to 30 micrograms for people 12 year and older.

In study data submitted by Pfizer to the FDA, 2, children, ages 5 to 11, received two microgram doses of the COVID vaccine, spaced three weeks apart, while a smaller group of children received a placebo. Antibody responses and side effects in the 5-toyear-olds were comparable to those of to year-old participants from a previous study.

A subsequent analysis compared COVID infections in the vaccine and placebo groups. It found the Pfizer vaccine to be % effective at protecting against COVID infection, compared to placebo. This was based on three cases of COVID in vaccinated study participants, compared to 16 cases in the placebo group. There were no cases of severe COVID or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) in either group during the study.

When making their decisions, both the FDA and CDC considered the benefits of the vaccine, the risks of COVID, and the risks associated with mRNA vaccines, particularly rare side effects such as the heart inflammation that has been seen after mRNA vaccination, especially in male adolescents and young adults. Ultimaely, they decided that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the possible risks, but will continue to monitor safety data.

In May , the FDA had expanded its EUA for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine to include adolescents 12 to 15 years old in May Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for use in children 16 years and older. A CDC report published in MMWR in October showed that to year-olds who’d gotten two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were 93% less likely than those who were unvaccinated to be hospitalized for COVID COVID-related hospitalizations in children and adolescents are still relatively rare; the majority of participants in this study had at least one underlying medical condition that put them at increased risk for severe illness.

The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently authorized for people 18 years and older. In June , Moderna applied to the FDA for emergency use authorization (EUA) of their mRNA vaccine for use in children ages 12 to under 18 years. The FDA is continuing to evaluate safety data about the risk of myocarditis after vaccination, and recently notified the company that it may not complete its review until early Moderna announced promising results of a Phase 2/3 study in adolescents in May. The study enrolled 3, children ages 12 to Two-thirds received two doses of the Moderna mRNA vaccine and one-third received a placebo. The immune response generated by the vaccine in adolescents was found to be at least as good as the immune response the vaccine generated in adults. Starting two weeks after the second vaccine dose, no cases of COVID occurred in the vaccine group, compared to four cases in the placebo group. Vaccine side effects were mild to moderate, with injection site pain, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, and chills being the most common. The study did not identify any significant safety concerns. The results were announced in a press release.

In October , Moderna released an interim analysis of their phase 2/3 study in children. For this part of the randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled trial, researchers enrolled 4, children ages 6 years to under 12 years of age. The children received either two doses of the Moderna vaccine, spaced 28 days apart, or two doses of placebo. The vaccine dose was 50 micrograms, which is lower than the microgram dose authorized for adults, but the same as the dose recently authorized for the Moderna booster. One month after receiving their second dose, the vaccinated children in this study had antibody levels that were about times higher than those seen in young adults after two microgram vaccine doses. Most side effects were mild to moderate, and included fatigue, headache, fever, and pain at the injection site. The study was too small to measure rare side effects. The analysis was announced in a press release and has not been published or peer reviewed. Moderna will submit these results to the FDA, and is also studying their vaccine in children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years.

Age de-escalation studies, in which the vaccines are tested in groups of children of descending age, are done to confirm that the vaccines are safe and effective for each age group. They also identify the optimal dose, which must be effective, but with tolerable side effects.

The FDA reviews data from the de-escalation trials to decide whether to authorize the vaccines for each age group. The CDC then considers whether to issue a recommendation.

What needs to happen for schools to open safely?

School closures have impacted children on many fronts, from academics and social interaction to equity, food security, and mental health. Safely returning children to in-person instruction in fall is a priority for the CDC.

In July , the CDC recommended that all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools wear masks while indoors, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated. They also recommend that everyone who is eligible for vaccination get the vaccine.

There are several other prevention strategies that, when layered together, should minimize the spread of COVID in schools. These include physical distancing; screening, testing, and contact tracing; staying home when sick; and frequent handwashing. Schools should also do their best to improve ventilation, by opening windows and doors, for example. Decisions about some of these prevention strategies may depend on levels of community transmission.

Are kids any more or less likely than adults to spread coronavirus?

Most children who become infected with the COVID virus have no symptoms, or they have milder symptoms such as low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough. Early studies suggested that children do not contribute much to the spread of coronavirus. But more recent studies indicate that children are capable of spreading the infection.

Though the studies varied in their methods, their findings were similar: infected children had as much, or more, coronavirus in their upper respiratory tracts as infected adults. And a November study conducted by Harvard researchers again confirmed that children carry live virus capable of infecting others.

The amount of virus found in children — their viral load — was not correlated with the severity of their symptoms. In other words, a child with mild or no symptoms may have just as many viral particles in their nose and mouth as a child that has more severe symptoms. So, the presence of a high viral load in infected children increases the likelihood that children, even those without symptoms, could readily spread the infection to others.

The bottom line? Public health measures are as important for kids and teens as they are for adults.

Should parents take babies for initial vaccines right now? What about toddlers and up who are due for the standard vaccines?

Getting early immunizations in for babies and toddlers — especially babies 6 months and younger — has important benefits. It helps to protect them from infections such as pneumococcus and pertussis that can be deadly, at a time when their immune system is vulnerable.

Now that doctors’ offices and clinics have taken specific measures to prevent COVID spread, vaccinations for children don’t need to be delayed. That’s especially true for children with special conditions.

However, if you are concerned about going to an office or clinic, it’s best to call and let them know how you feel. Find out what precautions they are taking to keep children safe, and discuss your particular situation, including not only your child's health situation, but also the prevalence of the virus in your community and whether you have been or might have been exposed. Together, you can make the best decision for your child.

When do you need to bring your child to the doctor during this pandemic?

If you have any concerns about your child, call your doctor's office for advice. Many practices are offering phone or telemedicine visits, and it's remarkable how many things can be addressed that way.

Some things, though, may require an in-person appointment, including:

  • Illness or injury that could be serious, such as a child with trouble breathing, significant pain, unusual sleepiness, a high fever that won't come down, or a cut that may need stitches or a bone that may be broken. Call your doctor for guidance as to whether you should bring your child to the office or a local emergency room.
  • Children who are receiving ongoing treatments for a serious medical condition such as cancer, kidney disease, or a rheumatologic disease. These might include chemotherapy, infusions of other medications, dialysis, or transfusions. Your doctor will advise you about any changes in treatments or how they are to be given during the pandemic. Do not skip any appointments unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • Checkups for very young children who need vaccines and to have their growth checked. Check with your doctor regarding their current policies and practices.
  • Checkups and visits for children with certain health conditions. This might include children with breathing problems whose lungs need to be listened to, children who need vaccinations to protect their immune system, children whose blood pressure is too high, children who aren't gaining weight, children who need stitches out or a cast off, or children with abnormal blood tests that need rechecking. If your child is being followed for a medical problem, call your doctor for advice. Together you can figure out when and how your child should be seen.

Bottom line: Talk to your doctor. The decision will depend on a combination of factors including your child's condition, how prevalent the virus is in your community, whether you have had any exposures or possible exposures, what safeguards your doctor has put into place, and how you would get to the doctor.

I am pregnant and plan to eventually breastfeed my baby. Is it safe for me to get a COVID vaccine?

In September , the CDC "strongly recommended" that women who are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or were recently pregnant, including those who are breastfeeding, should get vaccinated against COVID The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine also agree that all pregnant and breastfeeding individuals should be vaccinated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends use of a COVID vaccine in pregnant women when the benefit to an individual outweighs the potential vaccine risks. Experts, including the WHO, believe it is most likely safe to get a COVID vaccine if you're breastfeeding. Similar to any decision regarding over-the-counter medications and supplements during pregnancy, your own doctor is in the best position to advise you based on your personal health risks and preferences.

Here are some factors to consider. First, although the actual risk of severe COVID illness and death among pregnant individuals is very low, it is higher when compared to nonpregnant individuals from the same age group. In addition, COVID increases risk for premature birth, and possibly also for other undesirable pregnancy outcomes. Transmission of the virus from mother to baby during pregnancy is possible, but it appears to be a rare event.

The CDC’s stronger recommendation followed safety data released in August The study enrolled nearly 2, women who received a COVID vaccine, either before becoming pregnant or during their first 20 weeks of pregnancy, and found that they did not have an increased risk of miscarriage.

A previous study, conducted by the CDC and published in NEJM, found the COVID vaccines to be safe when given during the second or third trimester.

Another small study, which compared vaccine efficacy in pregnant and nonpregnant women, was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study found that mRNA vaccines effectively produce antibodies that protect against SARS-CoV-2 in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and that this immunity is passed from mother to newborn through the placenta and breast milk.

mRNA vaccines do not contain any virus, so they cannot cause COVID in a woman or her baby. And our bodies quickly break down and eliminate mRNA particles used in the vaccine, so they cannot reach or cross the placenta.

Is it okay to have babysitters or child care people in the house given no know exposures or illness in their homes?

The truth is that the fewer people you and your children are exposed to, the better. However, the reality is that not every family will be able to have a parent at home at all times.

All people can do is try to minimize the risk by doing things like:

  • choosing a babysitter who has minimal exposures to other people besides your family
  • limiting the number of babysitters. If you can keep it to one, that's ideal, but if not keep the number as low as possible
  • making sure that the babysitter understands that he or she needs to practice physical distancing, and needs to let you know (and not come to your house!) if he or she feels at all sick or has a known exposure to COVID
  • having the babysitter limit physical interactions and closeness with your children, to the extent that this is possible
  • making sure that everyone washes their hands frequently throughout the day, especially before eating.

Can you provide some guidance regarding play dates? My kids really miss their friends.

 With infection rates still high in much of the country, it’s best to minimize playdates, or to limit them to a couple of children or families with whom you have been socializing during the pandemic.

Outdoor play dates, where you can create more physical distance, is a better option than indoor playdates. Something like going for a bike ride, or a hike, allows you to be together while sharing fewer germs (bringing and using hand sanitizer is still a good idea). You need to have ground rules, though, about distance and touching, and if you don't think it's realistic that your children will follow those rules, then don't do the play date even if it is outdoors.

You can still go for family hikes or bike rides where you're around to enforce social distancing rules. Family soccer games, cornhole, or badminton in the backyard are also fun ways to get outside.

You can also do virtual play dates, using a platform like FaceTime or Skype so children can interact and play without being in the same room.

More about kids and coronavirus

Podcasts

Back to school: It's never been more complicated (recorded 7/30/)

Sending kids back to school in the fall is always a hopeful time in America. For most families, school is a vital part of the community. With the surge in coronavirus in many areas of the country, getting kids back in the classroom safely will require a major re-evaluation to reduce transmission rates that can impact people of all ages. We talked to Allan Geller, a senior lecturer in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Like it or not, for school teachers and administrators, things are going to be different. Don't expect the traditional.

 

Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for more information on coronavirus and COVID

Image: 4X-image/Getty Images

 

Источник: [storycall.us]

Who this guidance is for

It is important that we all take steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID) infection in the community to save lives and protect the NHS.

This guidance is for:

  • people with symptoms that may be caused by COVID, including those who are waiting for a test
  • people who have received a positive COVID test result (whether or not they have symptoms)
  • people who currently live in the same household as someone with COVID symptoms, or with someone who has tested positive for COVID

In this guidance a household means:

  • one person living alone
  • a group of people (who may or may not be related) living at the same address and who share cooking facilities, bathrooms or toilets, or living areas. This may include students in boarding schools or halls of residence who share such facilities
  • a group of people who share a nomadic way of life for example those who live on Traveller sites, in vehicles or on canal boats

Follow separate guidance if you have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID but do not currently live in the same household as them. If you have arrived in England from overseas you may also need to self-isolate, but should follow separate guidance on travelling to England from another country during COVID

This guidance applies in England.

Symptoms

The most important symptoms of COVID are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, COVID will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, even if your symptoms are mild, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

There are several other symptoms linked with COVID These other symptoms may have another cause and are not on their own a reason to have a COVID test. If you are concerned about your symptoms, seek medical advice.

If you have received one or more doses of COVID vaccine and have symptoms of COVID or have received a positive test result, you should still follow this guidance. This is because it is still possible to get COVID and spread it to others even if you are vaccinated.

Main messages

Anyone with COVID symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. If you have symptoms of COVID, you should arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. This still applies even if you have received one or more doses of COVID vaccine.

If you live in the same household as someone with COVID, you should stay at home and self-isolate. If you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months you are not required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID

You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace[footnote 1]. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £ through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.

Tests for COVID

There are 2 main types of test currently being used to detect if someone has COVID

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • lateral flow device (LFD) antigen tests – also known as rapid lateral flow tests

PCR tests detect the RNA (ribonucleic acid, the genetic material) of a virus. PCR tests are the most reliable COVID tests. It takes some time to get the results because they are usually processed in a laboratory. If you have symptoms of COVID, you should arrange to have a PCR test.

People who live in the same household as someone with COVID can also take a PCR test, as they are at higher risk of being infected even if they do not have symptoms.

LFD tests detect proteins in the coronavirus and work in a similar way to a pregnancy test. They are simple and quick to use. LFD tests are not as accurate as PCR tests in all circumstances, but can detect a similar number of people with high levels of coronavirus as PCR tests. They are mainly used in people who do not have symptoms of COVID

People in England who do not have symptoms of COVID are advised to take an LFD test before visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they were infected with COVID or before visiting crowded and enclosed spaces. Some people are also required to take part in regular LFD testing programmes.

If you have received one or more doses of COVID vaccine

If you have been vaccinated with a COVID vaccine, you are less likely to catch COVID, and to become severely ill if you do catch it. You are also less likely to spread COVID to other people, but it is still possible for this to happen.

If you have symptoms of COVID or have received a positive test result, you should still follow this guidance and self-isolate even if you have received one or more doses of COVID vaccine. This will reduce the risk of spreading infection and help to protect other people.

If you are a contact of someone who has COVID and you are fully vaccinated, or aged under 18 years 6 months, you are not required to self-isolate. There is further information in the Household contacts who are not required to self-isolate section.

If you have COVID symptoms or have received a positive COVID test result

Stay at home and self-isolate

If you develop symptoms of COVID, stay at home and self-isolate immediately. If you have a positive test result but do not have symptoms, stay at home and self-isolate as soon as you receive the results.

Other people in your household might need to isolate too. Please see section below for information on what the other members of your household need to do.

Arrange to have a PCR test online or by phone by calling if you have not already had one. Stay at home while you are waiting for a home test kit, a test site appointment or a test result. You can leave your home in a few specific circumstances, but do not go to work, school, or public areas and do not use public transport or taxis. See circumstances in which you can leave home.

If you need to leave your home to get to a test site, wear a face covering, stay at least 2 metres apart from other people who you do not live with, and return home immediately afterwards.

If you are notified by NHS Test and Trace of a positive test result you must complete your full isolation period, except for certain situations where you had an assisted LFD test which was followed up by a negative PCR test. Your isolation period starts immediately from when your symptoms started, or, if you do not have any symptoms, from when your test was taken. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if you did not have symptoms but your first positive COVID test was taken on the 15th), your isolation period ends at hrs on the 25th.

If you receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website you should do this. You will be asked about when your symptoms started. You should provide this information because it will be used to identify who has been in contact with you while you have been infectious.

You will be asked about your recent contacts so that they can be given public health advice. They will not be told your identity. It is very important that you provide this information, as it will play a vital role in helping to protect your family, friends and the wider community.

You can return to your normal routine and stop self-isolating after 10 full days if your symptoms have gone, or if the only symptoms you have are a cough or anosmia, which can last for several weeks. If you still have a high temperature after 10 days or are otherwise unwell, stay at home and seek medical advice.

If you are isolating because of a positive test result but did not have any symptoms, and you develop COVID symptoms within your isolation period, start a new 10 day isolation period by counting 10 full days from the day following your symptom onset.

If you develop COVID symptoms at any point after ending your first period of isolation you and your household should follow the steps in this guidance again.

Most people with COVID will experience a mild illness. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness or the illness of someone in your household is worsening.

Stay as far away from other members of your household as possible. Wherever possible, avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens and other living areas while others are present and take your meals back to your room to eat. Wear a face covering or a surgical mask when spending time in shared areas inside your home.

Take exercise within your home, garden or private outdoor space. Follow the general advice to reduce the spread of the infection within your household.

It may be difficult for some people to separate themselves from others in their household. Not all these measures will be possible if you are living with children or have caring responsibilities, but follow this guidance to the best of your ability in these circumstances.

People who live on a Traveller site, in a vehicle or on a canal boat may have added difficulties in accessing water and sanitation. You should aim to do all that you can to reduce the spread of COVID with the space available to you and your household. Further support and practical advice are provided below.

If you have a negative COVID PCR test result after being tested because you had symptoms

If your PCR test result is negative but you still have symptoms, you may have another viral illness such as a cold, flu or a stomach bug. You should stay at home until you feel well and for at least 2 more days if you have had diarrhoea or vomiting. Seek medical attention if you are concerned about your symptoms.

You can stop isolating as long as:

Anyone in your household who is isolating because of your symptoms can also stop isolating.

Testing after your isolation period has ended

If you have tested positive by PCR for COVID, you will probably have developed some immunity to the disease. However, it cannot be guaranteed that everyone will develop immunity, or how long it will last. It is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID infection.

Anyone who has previously received a positive COVID PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, unless they develop any new symptoms of COVID

If, however, you do have an LFD antigen test within 90 days of a previous positive COVID PCR test, for example as part of a workplace or community testing programme, and the result of this test is positive, you and your household should self-isolate and follow the steps in this guidance again.

If it is more than 90 days since you tested positive by PCR for COVID, and you have new symptoms of COVID, or a positive LFD antigen or PCR test, follow the steps in this guidance again.

If you take part in asymptomatic testing

People in England who do not have symptoms of COVID can take LFD tests. Asymptomatic testing can help to identify people who may have COVID, but are not feeling unwell, so that they can take steps to reduce the spread of infection to others.

More information on ordering LFD tests is available. If you test positive for COVID by LFD test, you should self-isolate and follow this guidance. You should also request a follow-up PCR test.

LFD tests can be taken in 2 ways:

  • an assisted test is where the person takes the test themselves under the supervision of a trained operator, and this operator processes the test, reads and reports the result

  • a home (self-reported) test is where a person takes the test themselves and reads and reports their own result

If you have any of the symptoms of COVID, you should request a PCR test.

If your assisted LFD test result is positive

If your LFD test was an assisted test, and the result is positive, you must self-isolate immediately. You could be fined if you do not do this. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £ through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to self-isolate.

You should also take a follow-up PCR test as soon as possible and within 2 days of the positive LFD test at the latest.

While waiting for your follow-up PCR test result you and your household members should follow this guidance. If you receive a negative follow-up PCR test result, and this PCR test was taken within 2 days of the positive LFD test, you and your household will be told by NHS Test and Trace that you can stop self-isolating. However, you and your household must continue to self-isolate if:

  • this PCR test result is positive
  • you choose not to take a follow-up PCR test
  • your follow-up PCR test was taken more than 2 days after the positive LFD test result

It is important to book your follow-up PCR test as soon as you can following your positive LFD test result.

If your home (self-reported) LFD test result is positive

If your LFD test was taken at home (self-reported), you should self-isolate immediately. You and your household members should follow all this guidance. You should also arrange to have a follow-up PCR test as soon as possible. If the follow-up PCR test result is negative, you and your household contacts can stop self-isolating.

If you live in the same household as someone with COVID

Stay at home and self-isolate. Do not go to work, school, or public areas and do not use public transport or taxis. If you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months, you are not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID See the section below for more information. If you have only received one dose of COVID vaccine, you are still required to self-isolate.

Your isolation period includes the day the first person in your household’s symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your 10 day isolation period starts on the 15th of the month, your isolation period ends at hrs on the 25th and you can return to your normal routine.

If you are identified as a contact and asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, including by the NHS COVID app you may be entitled to a payment of £ from your local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate you may also be entitled to this payment.

Failure to comply with self-isolation may result in a fine, starting from £1, Parents or guardians are legally responsible for ensuring that anyone under 18 self-isolates if they test positive for COVID and are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate.

Household contacts who are not required to self-isolate

You are not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID and any of the following apply:

  • you are fully vaccinated
  • you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID vaccine trial
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, you are not exempt from quarantine if you are in the same household as a traveller from a red-list country who has permission to quarantine at home.

NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.

You should not arrange to have a PCR test if you have previously received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days, unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID, as it is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID infection.

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.

As well as getting a PCR test, you should:

  • limit close contact with other people outside your household, especially in crowded or enclosed spaces – consider taking an LFD test beforehand if you do need to be in close contact with others
  • wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you are unable to maintain social distancing
  • limit contact with anyone who has an underlying health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID – consider taking an LFD test beforehand if you do need to meet with them

This advice applies while the person in your household with COVID is self-isolating.

Taking an LFD test before meeting with others can help to identify whether you are infectious with COVID If your LFD test result is negative, it is likely that you were not infectious at the time the test was taken. However, you should continue to follow the advice above as it is still possible that you are infected with COVID

If you are a health or social care worker who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID in these settings.

Children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend an education or childcare setting and who have been identified as a close contact should continue to attend the setting as normal. They do not need to wear a face covering within the setting, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport.

If you develop symptoms at any time, even if these are mild, self-isolate immediately, arrange to have a COVID PCR test and follow the guidance for people with COVID symptoms. If you take an LFD test and the result is positive, you should also self-isolate and arrange to have a PCR test.

PCR tests if you are self-isolating as a contact

You can arrange to have a single PCR test whether or not you have symptoms. This is because you are at a higher risk of being infected. The results of the PCR test will help NHS Test and Trace contact people who may have caught the virus from you. They can then self-isolate and avoid passing it on to others.

You should arrange to have this PCR test as soon as possible within your 10 day isolation period, so that NHS Test and Trace can identify the people that you have been in contact with. You can order a home test kit or book an appointment at a test site. To reduce the risk to others you should only use a test site if you are unable to use the home PCR testing service. If you go to a test site, stay at least 2 metres apart from other people you do not live with, and return home immediately afterwards. If you order a home test kit you should use and return it within 48 hours of receiving it.

If your PCR test result is negative, you should still stay at home and self-isolate to avoid putting others at risk, unless you are not required to do so. This is because you could still become infectious during the 10 day isolation period.

If your PCR test result is positive, follow the advice for people with COVID to stay at home and start a further full 10 day isolation period, regardless of where you are in your original 10 day isolation period. This means that your total isolation period will be longer than 10 days.

You should not arrange to have a PCR test if you have previously received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days, unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID It is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID infection.

LFD tests while you are self-isolating as a contact

If you are regularly taking part in asymptomatic testing using LFD tests, you can continue to do so as long as these tests are taken at home. Do not leave your house during your self-isolation period to take part in an assisted asymptomatic testing programme.

If your LFD test result is negative, you should still stay at home and self-isolate to avoid putting others at risk. This is because you could still become infectious during the 10 day isolation period.

If your LFD test result is positive, you should arrange to have a follow-up PCR test as soon as possible.

If you develop symptoms while you are self-isolating as a contact

If you develop symptoms while you are isolating, you should arrange to have a COVID PCR test. If your test result is positive, follow the advice for people with COVID to stay at home and start a further full 10 day isolation period. This begins when your symptoms started, regardless of where you are in your original 10 day isolation period. This means that your total isolation period will be longer than 10 days.

If other household members develop symptoms during this period, you do not need to isolate for longer than 10 days.

Visitors to the household

Do not invite or allow social visitors to enter your home, including friends and family. If you want to speak to someone who is not a member of your household, use the phone, email or social media.

If you or a family member receive essential care in your home, carers should continue to visit and follow the provision of home care guidance to reduce the risk of infection.

All non-essential in-house services and repairs should be postponed until the self-isolation period is completed. Delivery drivers should not come into your home, so make sure you ask them to leave items outside for collection.

How COVID is spread

COVID spreads from person to person through small droplets, aerosols and through direct contact. Surfaces and belongings can also be contaminated with COVID when people with the infection cough or sneeze or touch them. The risk of spread is greatest when people are close to each other, especially in poorly ventilated indoor spaces and when people spend a lot of time together in the same room.

Keeping your distance, washing your hands and good respiratory hygiene (using and disposing of tissues), cleaning surfaces and keeping indoor spaces well ventilated are the most important ways to reduce the spread of COVID

People who have COVID can infect others from around 2 days before symptoms start, and for up to 10 days after. They can pass the infection to others, even if they have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, which is why they must stay at home.

People who live in the same household as someone with COVID are at higher risk of developing COVID They could spread the disease to others even when feeling well.

How to limit close contact with others in the household if you have COVID

Spend as little time as possible in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas. Avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens and other living areas while others are present and take your meals back to your room to eat. Observe strict social distancing.

Ask the people you live with to help by bringing your meals to your door, helping with cleaning and by giving you space.

Use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household where possible. If a separate bathroom is not available, try and use the facilities last, before cleaning the bathroom using your usual cleaning products. The bathroom should be cleaned regularly.

You should use separate towels from other household members, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for drying your hands. Keep your room well-ventilated by opening a window to the outside.

Use a face covering or a surgical mask when spending time in shared areas inside your home to minimise the risk of spread to others. Used correctly, they may help to protect others by reducing the transmission of COVID but they do not replace the need to limit your contact with other household members.

Following expert clinical advice and the successful rollout of the COVID vaccine programme, people previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable are no longer being advised to shield. Some people are still at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID and may have been advised by their health professional to consider taking additional precautions. If someone in the household has been advised to take such precautions, such as maintaining distance from others, they should be supported to do so.

Reducing the spread of COVID in your household

GermDefence is a website that can help you identify ways to protect yourself and others in your household from COVID It provides scientifically proven advice on reducing the risks from COVID and other viruses in your home.

GermDefence is easy to use and only takes 10 minutes to identify actions and make a plan on how to protect yourself. GermDefence is also available in a range of different languages.

Everyone should also take the following steps to reduce the spread of infection within their household.

Wash your hands

This is an important way to reduce the risk of catching COVID or passing it on to others. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose and before you eat or handle food. Clean your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

Cover coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.

Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands. If you have a carer, they should use disposable tissues to wipe away any mucus or phlegm after you have sneezed or coughed and then wash or sanitise their hands.

Clean your home to reduce spread of infection

Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles and remote controls, and shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Use standard household cleaning products like detergents and bleach to clean your home as these are very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean shared bathrooms each time they are used, especially the surfaces you have touched, using your usual bathroom cleaning products.

Cleaning cloths and personal waste such as used tissues and disposable face coverings should be stored in disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Use a dishwasher to clean and dry your crockery and cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them by hand using washing up liquid and warm water and dry thoroughly using a separate tea towel.

Laundry

To reduce the possibility of spreading the virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry. Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All dirty laundry can be washed in the same load. If you do not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after your self-isolation has ended when you can then take the laundry to a public launderette.

Do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels.

Ventilate indoor areas

Keep indoor areas well-ventilated with fresh air, especially shared living areas. To increase the flow of air you can:

  • open windows as much as possible
  • open doors
  • make sure that any vents are open and airflow is not blocked
  • leave extractor fans (for example in bathrooms) running for longer than usual with the door closed after use

Caring for pets

COVID in the UK is spread between humans. There is limited evidence that some animals, including pets, can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID) following close contact with infected humans.

Pet owners who have COVID or who are self-isolating with symptoms should restrict contact with pets and wash their hands thoroughly before and after interacting with their pet.

Looking after your health and wellbeing

Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing while staying at home

Staying at home and self-isolating for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and you or other household members may feel low. It can be particularly challenging if you do not have much space or access to a garden.

Remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and get support if you need it.

Every Mind Matters provides simple tips and advice to take better care of your mental health, including a COVID hub with advice for those staying at home.

Many people find it helpful to remind themselves why what they are doing is so important. By staying at home, you are helping to protect your friends and family, other people in your community and the NHS.

Things that you can do to help make staying at home easier:

  • keep in touch with friends and family over the phone or through social media
  • remember that physical exercise can be good for your wellbeing. Look for online classes or courses that can help you take light exercise in your home
  • plan ahead and think about what you will need to be able to stay at home for the full duration
  • ask your employer, friends and family for help to access the things you will need while staying at home
  • think about and plan how you can get food and other supplies, such as medication, that you will need during this period
  • check if your neighbourhood or local community has a volunteer system that could help bring you supplies or provide other support
  • ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online or by phone, making sure these are left outside your home for you to collect
  • think about things you can do during your time at home such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
  • many people find it helpful to plan out the full 10 days. You may also find it helpful to plan in advance what you will do if, for example, someone in your household were to feel much worse

If you need help for a mental health crisis, emergency or breakdown, seek immediate advice and assessment. Even during the COVID pandemic, urgent mental health support is available to adults and children around the clock. Find your local NHS helpline by searching for your postcode or home town in a new service finder.

If you need medical advice

Health and care services remain open to help people with all health conditions, including COVID Most people with COVID will experience a mild illness which can be managed at home. Find out more about managing the symptoms of COVID at home.

All routine medical and dental appointments should be cancelled while you are staying at home. If you are concerned or have been asked to attend in person during this time, discuss this with your medical contact first (for example, your GP or dentist, local hospital or outpatient service).

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness or the illness of someone in your household is worsening. If it is not an emergency, contact the NHS online COVID service or NHS for other health conditions. If you have no internet access, call NHS

If it is a medical emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial Inform the call handler or operator that you or someone in your household has COVID or symptoms if that is the case.

Financial or other practical support

Financial support

Self-isolation is one of the most important things we can do to help stop the spread of the virus and protect our friends and family, our community and the NHS. If you have symptoms of COVID, have received a positive test result, or have been told you are a contact with someone who has, self-isolation is the only way to guarantee you won’t pass COVID to others. If you are told to isolate, you should do so straight away. Find out what support you can get if you’re affected by COVID

If you can, ask friends, family or neighbours to go out and get food and other essentials for you. If you do not have others to help you, there may be charities or community groups who can help in your area or your local shops, markets and wholesalers may offer a delivery service (by phone or by email).

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is still available to help support those who need it. Volunteers can collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies and can also provide a regular friendly phone call. Call between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week to self-refer or visit NHS Volunteer Responders for further information. There may also be other voluntary or community services in your local area that you can access for support.

If you are unable to work due to COVID, see guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions to find out about support available to you. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £ through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate. If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, you may also be entitled to this support payment. You can apply for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment online or through the NHS COVID app.

You will be eligible if you live in England and meet all the following criteria:

  • you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, including by the NHS COVID app
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you cannot work from home and will lose income as a result
  • you are claiming at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credits
    • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit or Housing Benefit

Visit your local authority’s website for more information on the help and support that is available to you.

Additional support for those who lead a nomadic way of life

People who live on a traveller site, in a vehicle or on a canal boat may require additional support.

Let your site manager or local Gypsy and Traveller liaison team know if you need further support. If you are living on a river or canal, find out what advice is being offered by the organisation who manages the waterway you live on, as this varies for each one. Try to communicate by phone as much as possible to prevent spreading the virus to further contacts.

If you lack access to basic facilities such as water, sanitation and waste disposal to help with self-isolation, contact your local authority for assistance. They may be able to provide you with additional facilities or make alternative stopping places available.

The prevailing laws against unauthorised encampments or unauthorised development remain in place.

Waste should continue to be disposed of through authorised and legal means. Guidance for local authorities on re-opening or keeping household waste and recycling centres open is available. If you need further advice, contact your local authority.

If you are stopping or cruising in rural or isolated areas, take note of your location if you moor or pull up, especially if you are feeling unwell. You can also use the what3words app if there is a medical emergency and you need services to come to you.

If you are breastfeeding

If you have symptoms of COVID, have tested positive or are living in a household with someone who has COVID, you may be concerned about the infection spreading to your baby if you are breastfeeding.

The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breast milk or by being in close contact, however, this will be an individual decision. Talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP by telephone.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the COVID virus can be transmitted through breast milk. However, COVID infection can be passed on to a baby in the same way as it can to anyone in close contact with you. The current evidence is that children with COVID get much less severe symptoms than adults. If you or a family member are feeding with formula or expressed milk, sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.

People with learning disabilities, autism or serious mental illnesses

Not all these measures will be possible if you, or those you live with, have conditions such as learning disabilities, autism or serious mental illnesses. Follow this guidance to the best of your ability, while keeping yourself and those close to you safe and well, ideally in line with any existing care plans.

An easy read version of this guidance is also available.

Источник: [storycall.us]

Most children recover from Covid symptoms within 6 days, shows Lancet study

LONDON: Most childrenwho develop COVID symptomsrecover after six days, and the number who experience symptoms beyond four weeks is low, according to a large UK study published in The LancetChild & Adolescent Health journal.

The study, based on data reported through a smartphone app by parents and carers, provides the first detailed description of COVIDillness in symptomatic school-aged children.

"It is reassuring that the number of children experiencing long-lasting symptoms of COVID symptoms is low. Nevertheless, a small number of children do experience long illness with COVID, and our study validates the experiences of these children and their families," said Professor Emma Duncan, lead author of the study, from King's College London, UK.

The researchers noted that some adults experience a prolonged illness after COVID, described as long-COVID, where symptoms persist for four weeks or longer, but it is not known whether children can develop a similar condition or how common this is.

Many children infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus do not develop symptoms, but those who do tend to have a mild illness, they said. The latest research used data collected through the ZOE COVID Study smartphone app, which includes data from more than , UK children aged five to 17 years.

The team focused on reports collected between September 1, and February 22,

Some 1, children developed symptoms of COVID and received a positive PCR test result close to the onset of symptoms, with their symptoms reported regularly until they were healthy again.

Overall, these children were ill for an average of six days and experienced an average of three symptoms in the first week of illness, confirming that COVID tends to manifest as a mild illness in children, and that they usually recover quickly, the researchers said.

The study found that most children recovered within four weeks, with a minority experiencing symptoms after a month.

Typically, they had only two symptoms remaining after four weeks.

The most common symptom experienced by children with long illness duration was fatigue.

As many as 84 per cent of children were reported with fatigue at some point in their illness, and this was the most persistent symptom.

Headacheand loss of sense of smell were also common, the researchers said, adding, however, headache was more common early in illness while loss of sense of smell tended to occur later and to persist longer.

Of the 1, children who developed symptoms at least two months before the end of the study period, fewer than 2 per cent experienced symptoms for longer than eight weeks, they noted.

Older children in the 12 to 17 years age group were typically ill for longer than primary school aged children aged 5 to 11 years, according to the researchers.

Older children were also more likely to have symptoms after four weeks than younger but there was no difference in the numbers of children who still had symptoms after eight weeks, they said.

The researchers also assessed the children who tested negative for COVID who may have had other childhood illnesses, such as colds and flu.

They found that children with COVID were ill for longer compared to children with other illnesses who tested negative for COVID

However, the study shows at four weeks, the small number of children with other illnesses tended to have more symptoms than those who were ill with COVID

"Our data highlight that other illnesses, such as colds and flu, can also have prolonged symptoms in children and it is important to consider this when planning for paediatric health services during the pandemic and beyond," Michael Absoud, a senior author of the study and Consultant & Senior Lecturer at King's College London, said.

"This will be particularly important given that the prevalence of these illnesses is likely to increase as physical distancing measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID are relaxed," Absoud said.

The study authors note some limitations to their findings.

They could not cross-check the symptoms reported by parents and carers with health records, and there may be inconsistencies in the way people interpret symptoms on behalf of their children.

Also, only children who had an adult who was participating in the COVID Symptom Study were able to participate, which may bias participation towards certain demographic groups, the researchers added.

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Источник: [storycall.us]
Coronavirus Symptoms Day by Day in Kids, Adults and Old age

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