Coronavirus symptoms can linger for weeks and even months after being tested positive for the virus and the patients with these symptoms are called ‘long haulers’ of covid19 and their symptoms can range from fevers and joint pain to double vision and hair loss. But adults are not the only ones with these lingering systems as there are kids who after months of being diagnosed are still feeling the symptoms. So far nearly 20 million people have been found positive and 736,000 plus have died of the virus.
Indiana Evans, a promising dancer from Hertfordshire in Southern England, was practicing for 16 hours a week plus going to school before the coronavirus pandemic. She fell ill in early March with a cough and didn’t have any other symptoms, due to which she was kept at home for two weeks in accordance with the guidance of the government. She didn’t need to be hospitalized as she was never ill enough, her mother said. The teenager who was planning to audition for renowned dance schools can now hardly go to the supermarket.
Like many people who fell ill at the start of the pandemic in the United Kingdom, Indiana wasn’t tested for the virus too. But later she was diagnosed with post-viral fatigue syndrome by the doctors. She is one of the ‘long haulers’ of covid19 among many children who are facing symptoms months after falling ill. As the awareness regarding lingering symptoms in adults is increasing, much is still unknown about the long term affect in children.
Honorary Professor of Paediatric rheumatology at the University of Bristol, England, Athimalaipet Ramanan said that coronavirus in children falls in two categories, the infection with the virus in children is largely a benign event, except in very few cases where there is a preexisting condition. But the big issue which is found in a small number of children is called hyper-inflammatory syndrome where the child might get quite unwell and is eventually admitted.
Initially, Indiana felt better after one week of getting infected with the virus, but after 10 days she started feeling exhausted, according to her mother. She tried to keep up with the dance practice and schoolwork online but after doing any exercise her symptoms seemed to worsen. After a few days, Indiana began seeing flashlights and suffering migraines. According to her mother, her face and eyes swelled up and she got rashes all over her body. She contacted the doctor after this but the doctor advised that her daughter needs rest.
Eventually, the doctors recommended hospital tests for Indiana to rule out any other problems. However, according to her mother, all the results were fine and there was nothing highlighted in her chest even though her chest was feeling really tight. She will shortly begin her rehabilitation classes to aid muscle strengthening and breathing.
Jane Evans, the mother of Indiana, is not sure what will happen with her very active and healthy daughter who’s is going to join a new school next month. She believes that the virus, in her experience, seems like an evolution, as it evolves in the body from one thing to another. She said that she has no idea how long will it last and what will happen if her daughter starts exercising again.
Many other parents like Evans who believe her children are long haulers of covid19 are worried that they might not be given healthcare support because their children haven’t tested positive for the virus.