Long COVID - Six months of prospective follow-up of changes in symptom profiles of non-hospitalised children and young people after SARS-CoV-2 testing: a national matched cohort study

Terence Stephenson, Snehal M. Pinto Pereira, Manjula D. Nugawela, Kelsey McOwat, Ruth Simmons, Trudie Chalder, Tamsin Ford, Isobel Heyman, Olivia V Swann, Lana Fox-Smith, Natalia K Rojas, Emma Dalrymple, Shamez N. Ladhani, Roz Shafran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Little is known about the prevalence and natural trajectory of post-COVID symptoms in young people, despite very high numbers of young people having acute COVID. To date, there has been no prospective follow-up to establish the pattern of symptoms over a 6-month time period.

Methods: A non-hospitalised, national sample of 3,395 (1,737 SARS-COV-2 Negative;1,658 SARS65 COV-2 Positive at baseline) children and young people (CYP) aged 11-17 completed questionnaires 3 and 6 months after PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between January and March 2021 and were compared with age, sex and geographically-matched test-negative CYP.

Results: Three months after a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test, 11 of the 21 most common symptoms reported by >10% of CYP had reduced. There was a further decline at 6 months. By 3 and 6 months the prevalence of chills, fever, myalgia, cough and sore throat of CYP who tested positive for SARS71 CoV-2 reduced from 10-25% at testing to
Conclusions: In CYP, the prevalence of specific symptoms reported at time of PCR-testing declined with time. Similar patterns were observed among test-positives and test-negatives and new symptoms were reported six months post-test for both groups suggesting that symptoms are unlikely to exclusively be a specific consequence of SARS-COV-2 infection. Many CYP experienced unwanted symptoms that warrant investigation and potential intervention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS One
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • long COVID
  • symptoms
  • children and young people
  • matched cohort study

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Long COVID - Six months of prospective follow-up of changes in symptom profiles of non-hospitalised children and young people after SARS-CoV-2 testing: a national matched cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this