Long-lasting Covid-19 symptoms are rare in children, according to the findings of a large U.K. study.
Study results, published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, show that most children who develop symptoms recover after six days, and the number who experience symptoms for longer than a month is fewer than one per cent.
Symptoms were reported by parents and carers on more than 250,000 children aged five to 17 through a smartphone app - so there may be some discrepancy in the severity of illnesses described.
"It is reassuring that the number of children experiencing long-lasting symptoms of Covid-19 symptoms is low," said lead author Professor Emma Duncan of King's College London. "Nevertheless, a small number of children do experience long illness with Covid-19, and our study validates the experiences of these children and their families."
Many children infected with the virus do not develop symptoms, but those that do tend to have a mild illness from which they usually recover quickly, researchers said.
Children most commonly experienced fatigue, with 84 per cent of children reporting it at some point. It was also the one that remained persistent, commonly present within long illnesses. Other common ailments included headache, sore throat, and loss of sense of smell.
Researchers also assessed children without Covid-19 for other illnesses like colds and flu. Those without the virus were more likely to have prolonged symptoms a month later than those who were ill with Covid-19.
Michael Absoud, a senior author of the study, added: "It is important to consider this when planning for paediatric health services during the pandemic and beyond.
"This will be particularly important given that the prevalence of these illnesses is likely to increase as physical distancing measures implemented to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are relaxed."