Our colleagues from RTL talked to a paediatrician about the long-term effects of Covid infection for children.
Although the rise of coronavirus mutations has affected the number of minors who contract Covid-19, the situation at the children's hospital has remained stable. In general, only very young children who may develop serious fever are hospitalised. Experts are, however, worried about the long-term effects that may follow an infection.
This tendency has already been registered in adults, with scientists talking about a so-called "post" or "long" Covid. This means that concerned patients still have health issues months after being infected for the first time, even though the initial illness may have been considered to be moderate. By now, more evidence is pointing to the fact that the same can happen to children.
Scientists are still trying to grasp the whole picture. Children seem to be especially affected by the MIS-C-infection, which may provoke rashes or even organ problems. Furthermore, the number of children coming to the hospital with sleeping and concentration issues has increased.
The children's hospital is now rigorously contacting all families in which a child contracted the virus towards the end of last year to establish a follow-up report. The goal is to create in-depth statistics of the situation, which are also set to be published later on. At the moment, health officials still lack the numbers to make concrete assessments.
Experts believe that babies may indirectly be vaccinated while still in the womb, thereby developing the necessary anti-bodies together with the mother-to-be. If children were not to be vaccinated, it may become difficult to develop herd immunity. The four vaccines currently approved by the EU have meanwhile started trials with children and adolescents.