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Coronavirus in kids: Parents say kids being diagnosed as COVID-19 ‘long haulers’

1 month ago 11

Parents are speaking out about their children falling ill with long-term symptoms from COVID-19.

A number of mums and dads say their children are falling victim to symptoms of coronavirus that linger for months. The parents say their children, initially unable to be tested for the virus, have been diagnosed months later as they suffer from long-term post viral symptoms.

Jane Evans said her daughter Indiana became sick with a cough in March. Indiana, 14, from Hertfordshire in England had no other symptoms and wasn’t sick enough to be hospitalised but her parents kept her home for two weeks, Ms Evans told CNN.

Indiana is a dancer who was doing 16 hours a week of practice on top of her school work every week before she became sick. Her mother said now she barely has enough energy to make it to the supermarket.

COVID-19 sufferers who suffer from a wide range of symptoms for a long period of time call themselves “long haulers”. Because little is known and published about the long-term effects of COVID-19, long haulers have been sharing their experiences in online communities.

Canadian mother Chandra Pasma also believes her children are long haulers. She told CTV News her entire family became unwell in March but her twins, Clara and Luc, seven, were particularly unwell.

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The twins had severe coughing chest pain, abdominal cramping, conjunctivitis and fatigue.

Their daughter Mira, 9, had mild symptoms with a fever and sore throat. Mrs Pasma felt like her family were recovering after a couple of weeks when their symptoms eased – but since then they’ve suffered from different symptoms.

Luc had a cough that continued for 12 weeks and Clara was coughing for 18 weeks. Mrs Pasma said Clara’s cough left her gasping for breath. Both twins suffered from recurring bouts of fatigue, nausea and pain in their chests.

Mira also suffered from a range of symptoms long haulers have associated with the virus including headaches, skin rashes, mouth sores and blocked lymph nodes. Mira’s symptoms continued for months.

“That was really difficult to manage,” she said in July. “It felt like for the longest time, nothing worked.”

The family didn’t fit testing criteria in March because they hadn’t been overseas and didn’t have severe symptoms. But Mrs Pasma later learned a person using their children’s bus stop in Ottawa had tested positive for COVID-19. Their doctor has since diagnosed them as probable cases.

While attention around the long-term effect of coronavirus in adults has been growing, parents whose children have symptoms say there is not enough information available.

A recent study from Indiana University School of Medicine found symptoms being reported by COVID-19 long haulers were much more broad than what is listed by most official sources, including the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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