129 children diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and November, 2020 were enrolled (mean age of 11 ± 4.4 years, 62 (48.1%) female). Subsequently, three developed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (2.3%) and two myocarditis (1.6%). Patients were assessed on average 162.5 ± 113.7 days after COVID-19 microbiological diagnosis. 41.8% completely recovered, 35.7%had 1 or 2 symptoms and 22.5% had 3 or more. 52.7% had at least one symptom 120 days or more after diagnosis (Table 1). Table 2 provides details about persistence of symptoms according to severity and length of follow-up. Insomnia (18.6%), respiratory symptoms (including pain and chest tightness) (14.7%), nasal congestion (12.4%), fatigue (10.8%), muscle (10.1%) and joint pain (6.9%), and concentration difficulties (10.1), were the most frequently reported symptoms. Although they were more common in symptomatic or hospitalized children, they were also described in those individuals who were asymptomatic during acute phase. 29 out of the 68 (42.6%) children assessed ≥120 days from diagnosis were still distressed by these symptoms.
To our knowledge, this is the first study providing evidence of Long Covid in children. More than a half reported at least one persisting symptom even after 120 days since COVID-19, with 42.6% being impaired by these symptoms during daily activities. Symptoms like fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache , insomnia, respiratory problems and palpitations were particularly frequent, as also described in adults