The pandemic took us all by storm. In the aftermath, there are pertinent issues we should consider to foster the health and security of our children. The symptoms of COVID-19 infection have been so publicized that most of us know when to suspect the diagnosis. In the first phase of the infection, cough, fever, sore throat, muscle ache etc. signal the possibility of COVID-19 infection. The severity of illness is also highly variable, and the symptoms mimic that of other common childhood illnesses making diagnosis without testing rather tricky.
That is the short of COVID, between this and the long story is a post infectious syndrome in children, the MISC-C, which is not at all subtle in its presentation. The long COVID is now an evasive part of the spectrum of this infection consisting of vague symptoms associated with significant impairment of the sense of wellbeing of the child. This consists of persistence of some symptoms usually for more than 4 to 12 weeks after the onset of illness. These symptoms range from commonly respiratory problems, fatigue, headache, muscle / joint pain, sleep disturbances, abnormalities in the sense of smell and or taste, abnormal heartbeat, dizziness and dysautonomia, a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, cognitive impairment and the list goes on. In effect, the once active well child has the potential to frequent the pediatrician with complaints that are not easily confirmed.
The best prevention suggested to date is avoiding infection through vaccination and maintaining a healthy body weight. Avoid extra weight by steering the children to healthy diversion in choices of activity and food eaten. Reinfection has been documented, and it is expected that as the winter approaches and indoor clustering increases, the rate of infection will increase. It is important that we stick to the use of face covers and other carefully learned infection control habits. Following these simple safety measures and keeping your vaccination status up to date may prevent consequences that are harder to treat in the future.