Hospital studying long-term effects of COVID in kids

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Adriana Vaughan tested positive for COVID-19 in October 2021. Eight months later, the 12-year-old has a string of new medical issues: fatigue, headaches, stomach problems and more.

Vaughan cannot walk for more than six minutes without losing her breathing. She also says that swimming, which she did before COVID, is difficult.

” I love swimming and the water. Vaughan said that she tried it a few days back, but it was too difficult for her.

Her symptoms were not understood by her doctors in Virginia.

” They didn’t know what long haul COVID was, but they kept saying it was anxiety. She said that my mom knew I didn’t have anxiety.

Vaughan is one of more than 70 kids being treated in the long COVID clinic at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. Dr. Alexandra Yonts, an infectious disease specialist who runs the clinic, said fatigue is the top complaint among patients young and old.

“Kids have less respiratory complaints than adults and more gastrointestinal symptoms,” she explained.

More than 13 million children have tested positive for COVID since the pandemic began, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Studies have found a wide range in the number who suffer from long COVID, but Yonts estimates it could be as high as 10%. Children’s National Hospital is currently conducting a three year study to find out more about the long-term effects.

After getting COVID in December 2020, Erin Peace lost 15 pounds and all of her energy. The 16-year-old stopped singing and seeing her friends and had to go to virtual home school.

” I was just lying in bed all day,” Peace said to CBS News.

But she’s slowly getting better, saying she feels like a six on a scale of one to 10. She started singing lessons again this week.

” I’ve definitely improved a bit,” she said.

It is what Vaughan also believes in.

” I have hope every day,” Vaughan stated.

Jericka Duncan


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Jericka is a national correspondent, based in New York City, and the anchor for Sunday’s edition on CBS Weekend News. “

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