The invisible epidemic of persistent Covid in children: With recognizing that there is, we will have a lot of cattle

One of the best news we could receive this summer is that the percentage of children suffering from persistent Covid, pathology that leaves sequels for months,

The invisible epidemic of persistent Covid in children: With recognizing that there is, we will have a lot of cattle

One of the best news we could receive this summer is that the percentage of children suffering from persistent Covid, pathology that leaves sequels for months, is small. The negative part is that, with the uncontrolled transmission that minors are suffering in Spain, that slight proportion could be translated into thousands of children and adolescents who will begin the course with physical or cognitive problems. Many will not even know what happens to them.

"The treatment or follow-up of these children is complicated, because it is a new virus that is now emerging with this type of problem. We are continually learning to address them, "explains Fernando García-Room, president of the Spanish Society of Extrahospital Pediatrics and Primary Care. "If a child has suffered Covid three, four weeks ago, and we see that he has a loss of appetite, he eats less, he is more tired, he does not want to play ... he can indicate that there is a persistent covus."

The Germans Trias I Pujol Hospital has been a pioneer to establish a unit dedicated to persistent Covid in children and adolescents. "At this time, there are 115 patients who have been attended," says Carlos Rodrigo, clinical director of pediatrics at this center. "Requests have arrived from different Spanish communities, including France. As far as I know, it is the only very structured unit, with all the capabilities ... although we are going to overflow at any time, "he warns.

In Spain, 625,739 people have been inacted during the month of July. It is estimated that 10% of cases in the general population can develop persistent Covid. In children, that percentage could go down to 4.4%, according to a new study that the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health publishes today. The investigation, carried out in the United Kingdom, has shown that, fortunately, "long-term disease after a SARS-COV-2 infection seems less common in children than in adults." In fact, 98.2% of the children studied, all of whom spent the infection symptomally, had recovered at eight weeks.

But, unfortunately, there is a small percentage that will be affected. The British study has followed 1,734 minors, between five and 17 years, who had suffered a contagion, and it has concluded that "some children (4.4%) experienced symptoms after four weeks, with an average of two persistent symptoms ", Among which," the fatigue, the headache and the loss of the sense of smell "stand out.

"They are children who are not well, have relationship problems because they come out less than a house, meet Asthenia, with muscle aches, they do less sport ... All this makes the relationship with colleagues decrease and have a major problem" , Describe Garcia-Rooms.

According to the Carlos III Health Institute, in the three weeks ranging from July 5 to 25, 15,761 people between five and nine years, and 101,178 between 10 and 19 years old have been infected in Spain. Applying the percentage of 4.4%, and only among those under 20 who have given positive in those three weeks, it is obtained that more than 5,000 of them will suffer prolonged symptoms. Others will have had the virus without knowing it.

"Children who have persistent Covid have had forms of Vishyes, or nor had they learned. In many cases, we have made the diagnosis later, "says Rodrigo, who remembers that the unit of him has come to see a patient of only five years. "But it is absolutely exceptional, most have more than 12," he clarifies. "The important thing is to recognize it. Do not believe that they are vague, or that they have become bad students. There are situations where, maybe, the child is punished for not doing homework, or not wanting to go out again, "he adds.

"Already only with recognizing them that exists, he does not know the joy that parents take, and the children!" Continues Rodrigo. "With recognizing that yes, which is true, we have a lot of cattle. And then, we individualize. If the fundamental problem is headache, we act selectively on pain; If it is fatigue, we rehabilitate; We all make psychometric tests, to see the responsiveness, loss of concentration, memory ... ».

"Then, the team of neuropsychologists makes neurocognitive rehabilitation to improve all those capabilities. There is not a single medication that serves for this, but you have to talk, explain, reassure, wherever you can ... », says Dr. Rodrigo. "When we can not cure, we have no choice but to rehabilitate. What does not work well, try to recover, "he adds. «It is important that you know that this exists, that people do not think that if a child or a teenager catches the virus, it does not matter. It does not necessarily do the same, it may have problems, "he emphasizes him.

"Now there are many children infected. We had never had so many children in emergencies with Covid. They are not serious ways, but there are many. We do not know if it is the delta variant, it is a possibility, but we believe that it has more to do with the behavior of parents and society, "Sopesa Rodrigo. "There is no zero risk. Although they are few, there are children in hospitals and children who have passed away, "Dr. García Salas intervene, who also points to one of the most worrying symptoms of the persistent Covid: strong headaches.

"We are seeing cadres of headache in adolescents four and five months after having passed a Covid," he describes. "What worries us most is that, with the usual medication we give for headaches, we can not solve them," says García-Rooms. "We have to go, sometimes, to stronger medications through the neurologist. There are children to whom we have to send to the neurologist to treat them. But it's pretty frustrating, because, sometimes, we do not get it, "he regrets him.

"Over time they are going to heal; But, when a patient comes with this problem, we can not tell time, because it varies from some people to others, "says García-Rooms. "It is very variable," coincides Rodrigo, and adds: "Some lead from the first wave of the pandemic." He nuits, however, that "the general trend is that they are improving", especially if they receive adequate diagnosis and treatment.

Incidence. The cases between 12 and 19 years are still fired. In Spain, the accumulated incidence in this agenda in the last 14 days is 1,468.62 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. What percentage will you suffer from persistent Covid? "I hope it is not 1%," says Dr. Rodrigo, alluding to the disparate data that has reflected different studies. "A 1% I already think it's impressive," he says.

Updated Date: 24 October 2021, 12:52

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