MONDAY, July 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with reporting post-COVID-19 conditions (PCC) among children, according to a study published online July 22 in JAMA Network Open.

Anna L. Funk, PhD., from the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues estimated the proportion of children with PCCs 90 days after a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result compared to the proportion among SARS-CoV-2-negative children in a prospective study conducted in 36 emergency departments in eight countries between March 7, 2020, and Jan. 20, 2021. A total of 1,884 SARS-CoV-2-positive children who completed 90-day follow-up were included, of whom 1,686 were matched to 1,701 SARS-CoV-2-negative controls.

The researchers found that 110 SARS-CoV-2-positive children reported PCCs (5.8 percent), including 9.8 percent of 447 children hospitalized during acute illness and 4.6 percent of 1,437 children not hospitalized during acute illness. Fatigue or weakness was the most common symptom among SARS-CoV-2-positive children (1.1 percent). Being hospitalized 48 hours or more versus no hospitalization, having four or more versus one to three symptoms at the index emergency department visit, and being age 14 years or older versus younger than 1 year were characteristics associated with reporting at least one PCC at 90 days. The likelihood of reporting PCCs at 90 days was increased for SARS-CoV-2-positive children versus those who tested negative, both among those who were not and those who were hospitalized.

“These findings can inform public health policy decisions regarding COVID-19 mitigation strategies for children and screening approaches for PCCs among those with severe infections,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer; one author reported having a patent pending for therapies for treatment of coronaviruses.

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