Although covid-19 symptoms can linger for weeks, months or years, 1 percent of children in the United States had the condition known as long covid through 2022, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
By the end of last year, about 92 percent of those 17 and younger had antibodies indicating a previous covid-19 infection, but among youths, long covid "remains rare, especially in children younger than 12," the report's authors wrote.
By comparison, a separate CDC report on long covid among U.S. adults found that nearly 7 percent (1 in every 14 adults) have experienced long covid, and about half of them still had the condition.
The CDC defined long covid as the presence of symptoms for at least three months after having tested positive for the coronavirus. Long covid symptoms may include fatigue, trouble thinking or concentrating (brain fog), headaches, changes in smell or taste, shortness of breath, depression or anxiety.
Among adults, long covid was more common among the middle-aged (35 to 49) and among women than men. It also was more prevalent among those living in rural areas or small towns and less common among those with higher incomes.
The CDC reports rely on analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics, based on interviews with 27,651 adults and, for the children's report, parents or guardians of 7,464 children. Among children, girls were more likely than boys to have had long covid, as were kids 12 to 17.
No single "cure" exists for long covid, but health experts urge people with the condition to seek treatment for the symptoms they experience. And, as the CDC says, "the best way to prevent long covid is to protect yourself and others from becoming infected" with the virus that causes covid-19 by staying up-to-date on vaccinations and avoiding close contact with those who have or could have the disease.