Dr. Jeremy Faust, editor-in-chief of MedPage Today has interviewed Dr. Zachary Rubin, allergist and immunologist of Oak Brook Allergists in Illinois, to discuss the lasting effects of COVID-19 on pediatric health.
According to Dr. Rubin there is not a single clinical phenotype for patients with long COVID. Patients can present:
- brain fog and other neurological symptoms,
- postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome issues,
- skin problems, particularly chronic hives after getting COVID, lasting for about 6 months, where they’re getting almost daily hives,
- frequent cough, usually lasting for about 6 months.
Many paediatric patients are receiving inhaled steroids despite not having allergic rhinitis. Some still present with a lack of smell, although not as much as at the beginning of the pandemic because “the virus is not really sitting in the nose quite as much, it’s kind of in other areas now.”
In Dr. Rubin’s opinion, there is a need for more data to know if more vaccination and higher immunity due to higher exposure will help eradicate long COVID symptoms, because the virus continues to mutate, and more immune-evasive variants continue to appear.
Some measures to avoid outbreaks in schools are higher ventilation levels in classrooms and masks used during surges.
The full interview is available here.