Health

‘Long COVID-19’ Is Incredibly Rare In Kids, New Data Shows

(Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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New data from the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics shows that long-term COVID-19 symptoms are exceedingly rare in children.

Study participants aged 12-16 years who tested positive for COVID-19 reported having at least one of 12 lingering COVID-19 symptoms 12 to 16 weeks after infection in 3% of cases, compared to 1.3% of control participants. In children aged two to 11 years, the rate of lingering symptoms at 12 to 16 weeks was actually lower in those who tested positive for COVID-19, at 3.2% versus 4.1%.

Measured at both four week and 12 week post-infection, children aged two to 11 years old were more likely to experience “long COVID” symptoms if they hadn’t actually tested positive for COVID-19 previously compared to those who had. Overall, only about one percent of children aged two to 16 years experienced continuous COVID-19 symptoms f0r at least 12 weeks after infection.

When asked to self-report experiencing long COVID, just 5.7% of kids aged 12-16 said they had it 12 weeks after infection, and less than 3% of those reported it limiting their day-to-day activities. (RELATED: Pfizer To Present Data On Booster Shot, Waning Vaccine Efficacy To FDA Friday)

Some proponents of school closures and increased restrictions on kids’ activities have cited an alleged threat of long COVID in children as justification. Some have erroneously cited a statistic that one in seven kids experience long COVID, which is based on a debunked interpretation of a previous University College London study.

All available data continues to suggest that COVID-19 is far less dangerous for children than adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released data showing that less than 1% of COVID-19 hospitalizations for children result in death. 534 children under age 18 have died of COVID-19 in the United States since the pandemic began, according to the CDC.