coronavirus

Not All Children Who Get COVID-19 Immediately Recover

More children are reporting symptoms of post-viral fatigue months after their illness from coronavirus

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The coronavirus might affect children differently than it does adults but doctors said they're seeing a trend among kids who recover.

They're dealing with incredible fatigue that can last months after a child has gotten better.

13-year-old Savannah Pressley of Euless got sick with COVID-19 in March after a trip to Europe.

Her mother Nola said the entire family came down with the illness, which lasted about three weeks.

Everyone recovered, but Nola said Savannah is still extremely fatigued and needed to rest after small activities like a walk in the neighborhood.

"It's three months after the COVID is gone and it's still affecting her life," said Nola Pressley.

They said doctors believe she's dealing with post-viral fatigue, a common condition that can happen after viral infections.

Cook Children's Infectious Disease Doctor Nicolas Rister did not treat Savannah but said experts wondered whether they'd see an increase in cases of chronic fatigue syndrome or post-viral fatigue.

"Certainly now that COVID around our area, around the nation, around the world, has been happening, we were wondering if we would see more cases of this," said Rister.

Rister said post-viral fatigue can feel like brain fog and can also cause headaches or nausea.

It can last weeks or months and can take a big toll on children.

"A lot of times, these kids that are affected are very active in school, in clubs, in sports. They're used to training, using their bodies and minds as well, so when they're disrupted for a couple weeks, it's very noticeable and it could take many weeks to get back to normal," said Rister.

He said most children do eventually get back to normal.

Since Savannah's blood work shows she's healthy, according to Nola, all they can do is wait.

In the meantime, she has an important message for others.

"It does affect children and it can have an impact on their life even after the symptoms are gone," said Nola.

Doctors said healthy eating, exercise and multi-vitamins can sometimes help children recover from post-viral fatigue.

How to Avoid COVID-19 Infection:

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

*Information shared from the Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott


*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.


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