This is a topic that we have not explored much to date with these updates. Part of the reason is that it is poorly defined. In addition, it has for the most part not been addressed much with respect to children.
The reported rates of “Long Covid” vary wildly. Some reports peg the percentage at a 2-3%, others at 30%. For now, let us just say they are significant without providing a number. The most common feature/symptom is fatigue. Not just a bit tired, but utterly wiped out. And not fixed with some extra shut eye. Nearly as commonly reported is cognitive dysfunction or “brain fog.” While these symptoms correlate with the legalization of marijuana in many states, rest assured they are not selecting stoners for these reports. Other fairly common symptoms are chest pain, breathlessness, headaches, body aches, dizziness, heart palpitations, GI symptoms, skin changes. Basically, it can involve nearly any body system or function. Overall, not fun.
Long Covid appears more prevalent in the older age groups based on a study in the UK. In that study, long Covid affected 2.1% of those aged 35-69 years, 1.6% of those 25-34 years, and less than 0.5% of children 2-16 years of age. This is not surprising, as Covid does consistently affects older folks more than the youth. Another study, published in Lancet reported 4.4% of children having symptoms of Covid persisting longer than one month.
The moral of the story here is that while we have generally addressed hospitalizations and deaths with respect to Covid, we need to start addressing the fact that there are folks who simply suffer with prolonged illness. There again appears to be age dependent risk associated with these prolonged symptoms. This is yet another reason to get vaccinated, especially for the younger age brackets who are not at high risk for hospitalization or death. Dealing with symptoms for months on end from a virus is not entertaining.