The research, led by experts from King's College London (UK), analysed 1,734 symptomatic patients aged between 5 and 17 years, based on data collected in a mobile application by parents and carers involved in the "ZOE COVID" project. The key finding is that cases with lasting symptoms are "rare," says one of the study's authors, Emma Duncan, a professor at King's College, in a statement. "It is comforting to know that the number of children who experience long-lasting Covid-19 symptoms is low. However, a small number of children suffer from long-term illnesses," she noted.
Specifically, of the 1,734 positives reported on the mobile app, only 77 (4.4%) still had at least two of the three most common symptoms (fatigue, headache, and loss of smell/taste) after four weeks.
In addition, the study found that after eight weeks, virtually all (98.2 percent) of those with symptoms had recovered. Fatigue, the researchers note, was the most prevalent symptom in this group (84 percent), while 77.9 percent also experienced headache and loss of smell/taste, respectively, at some stage of the disease. In this regard, experts indicate that headache is the most common symptom at the onset of the disease, while loss of smell or taste appears later and remains for a longer period of time. The study found differences in the mean duration of illness between primary school (5-11 years old) and secondary school (12-17 year old) children: in older children, Covid-19 lasted an average of seven days, compared to five days in younger children.