The evidence continues to mount. Even after the initial recovery from Covid-19, lingering physical, mental and neurological symptoms are affecting children and adults, including many with mild reactions to the initial coronavirus infection.
Why am I discussing this today? Well for one, it’s important that everyone including children who are now eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
And, with children returning to school, it’s important to identify students who may be struggling to recover from lingering post-Covid neurological, physical or psychiatric symptoms.
These lingering symptoms which may mimic those found in brain injury survivors are often referred to as “long Covid” and can vary in duration as well as severity.
Many of these children are suffering from memory and concentration issues, and brain fog which affects their ability to acquire new information. These children also may suffer from continual fatigue and sleep deprivation. And some children develop depression, anxiety or other psychiatric issues.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 4.2 million young people in the United States have had Covid-19, so these are not isolated individuals or isolated issues.
Recent studies estimate between 11 percent and 15 percent of infected youths might “end up with this long-term consequence, which can be pretty devastating in terms of things like school performance.
According to physicians I have discussed this with, even youths with mild or asymptomatic initial infections may experience long-Covid causing confusion in diagnosis and school response.
It’s important that public health officials and schools develop programs to identify these children and funding for research on how to treat long-covid. Of course, health insurance carriers must be compelled to pay for necessary treatment.