Coronavirus in Children in the US is spreading rapidly with over 657,000 teens and children across the country already infected with the disease, according to data from the Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. This figure only equates to nearly 10% of the 8 million cases of coronavirus in the US, however, the experts believe that the figure is underreported as the data on which it relies is collected around the states inconsistently.
The team of researchers at DePaul University located in Chicago, have initiated two different surveys, one survey for children and the other for adults, to collect data on how the coronavirus patients are coping in the long term with the symptoms of the virus. A professor of psychology at DePaul University and director of the Center for Community Research Leonard Jason believes that the children with long term symptoms are the most important group to be researched on for different reasons.
Jason further added that kids are more vulnerable and they neither have the resources or maturity to back themselves and also kids are simpler in many ways. He gave the example of other pandemics including the Spanish Flu in which some people never got better, and he believes that with coronavirus the number of long haulers could be much higher than with the other pandemics.
One of the worst cases of coronavirus in children was observed in an aspiring WNBA player, a 13-year-old girl living near Boston named Joeyanna Hodnett who first started feeling the symptoms around the 22nd of March. Both her parents were infected with the virus, however, her father recovered after 3 weeks and her mother Casey Whiston was asymptomatic. Coronavirus symptoms in Joeyanna started with muscle aches, burning sensations in the skin, inability to move legs and arms, chest pain, and headaches.
Joeyanna started to feel lightheaded and fainted which required her to be admitted to the hospital for at least three days. After that, she and her mother has been to not less than 30 separate appointments with different specialists including a neurologist, cardiologist, nutritionist, rheumatologist, pulmonologist, and infectious disease expert. She used to play for three different teams in basketball tournaments and used to run for 7 miles but now, according to her, she can hardly walk for 10 minutes. Six months after initially contracting the virus Joeyanna is finally showing improvements but there is no timeline for when she will be fully healthy again.
Another case of long-term symptoms of coronavirus in children is of a 15-year-old girl Veronica Richmond who is a long hauler of covid19 along with her mother Jamie and sister Audrey. One of the friends of Veronica came from Wuhan, after spending two years there, in March and could be the source of the infection in the Richmond family. The family is struggling with fatigue, uncertainty, and pain for more than six months without having a timeline of when they will be cured.
During the period when the virus was at its peak, the Richmond family couldn’t get themselves tested due to shortages of testing supplies. At that time they were observing the acute symptoms of covid toes and diarrhea. Now they have tested negative but are still feeling the symptoms due to the long-term effects of the virus and this negative result is also acting as a hindrance for them in getting the required medical care.