Children are much less likely than adults to get so-called “long Covid,” a study published Tuesday found, adding to a body of research showing relatively good outcomes for young people as the delta variant becomes increasingly dangerous to their parents and grandparents.
Children who get Covid-19 and have symptoms feel them for an average of six days, according to the Lancet study of 1,734 of kids ages 5 to 17, but 4.4% have symptoms lasting longer than four weeks.
Long-haul symptoms were slightly more common among those ages 12 to 17 (5.1%) than children ages 5 to 11 (3.1%).
The median number of symptoms fell from six in the first four weeks to two symptoms in the weeks afterward.
Researchers compared Covid-19 in children to other common childhood illnesses, including the flu and the common cold, finding that Covid-19 stayed about twice as long—six days to three.
Kids with long-haul symptoms of more common illnesses, though, were found to have an average of five symptoms, compared to an average of two symptoms among kids with long Covid.
The results are consistent with other studies showing that children are less likely to get sick with or die from Covid-19, but they remain a risk for spreading the virus to adults, who are more vulnerable. As with long Covid among children, it is also less well-studied among adults, but researchers have found that between 10% and 30% of adults develop long-term symptoms.