Fatigue, exertional dyspnea, sleep disturbances – these are just some of the Long Covid symptoms which affect adults and, according to the latest data collected, also children. On the occasion of the two years of activity of the “Post-Covid Day Hospital” of the Agostino Gemelli University Hospital Foundation an attempt was made to take stock of over 3 thousand patients (more than 2500 adults and approximately 500 pediatrics) treated after infection. “Since the beginning of our activity, we have evaluated 2,518 patients from all over Italy – explained Francesco Landi, Uoc Director of Internal Geriatric Medicine of the Gemelli Polyclinic – with an average age of 50 years. Most of these people had been hospitalized (62%) and 15% of them needed intensive care ”. According to Landi, only 20% of patients, 3 months after the acute phase of the disease, achieved a complete recovery. The most common persistent symptoms were: fatigue (64%), dyspnea on exertion (63%), sleep disturbance (45%), attention and memory deficit (38%), palpitations (35%), arthralgia (35%) ), myalgia (35%), paraesthesia (28%).
Long Covid symptoms have also been found in children and teens, a topic, to date, still little debated due to the mild, if not completely asymptomatic, forms of infection in this age range. “As for the next phase – commented Danilo Buonsenso, Uoc of Pediatrics at Gemelli – some children can develop problems. A minority (about 1 in ten thousand) may develop severe Post-Covid multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which requires hospitalization and often admission to pediatric intensive care, although it generally results in complete recovery. ” Another subgroup of children, according to data collected by the Polyclinic, develops a series of chronic problems after acute infection that can fall within the definition of Long Covid. They are children with asthenia, musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, pericarditis or electrocardiographic changes, concentration disorders and mood alterations. “Considering the absolute numbers – continued Common Sense – the problem is relevant, moreover we do not yet know what is the most appropriate way to manage these children”. It is therefore important that families, in the event of post-Covid symptoms, are referred to specialized centers.