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Long-term COVID-19 is uncommon in children

felix gussone

Reviewed by Felix Gussone, MD, written by Health Guide Team

Last updated: Aug 06, 2021
1 min read

A new study has found that fewer than one in 20 children with COVID-19 experience symptoms that last longer than four weeks. Almost all children fully recovered within eight weeks. Researchers based their data on 1,734 children between the ages of five and 17 who tested positive for the virus, and developed symptoms between September 2020 and February 2021. 

Parents or caregivers reported the children’s symptoms through apps on their phones. On average, the illness lasted for five days in younger children (5 to 11 years old) and seven days in older children aged 12 to 17. 

Fewer than 4.4% experienced symptoms for a month or more, while only 1.8% had symptoms lasting more than eight weeks. In most cases, the illness was mild and short. The most common symptoms reported in children were headaches, fatigue, sore throat, and new loss of smell. 

Studies like this help build our understanding of COVID-19 and its impact on different demographics. It’s important to know that the delta variant hadn’t been circulating at the time this study was conducted. 


  1. Erika Molteni et al. llness duration and symptom profile in symptomatic UK school-aged children tested for SARS-CoV-2 (2021). The Lancet, Child & Adolescent Health. DOI: Retrieved from: