Study Reveals Fatigue and Headache Most Common COVID Symptoms in Children

September 9, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified September 10, 2020

According to this recent article in The Guardian, researchers have found that fatigue, headache, and fever are the most common symptoms of coronavirus in children, with few developing a cough or losing their sense of taste or smell. This further adds to calls for an age-specific symptom checklists.

The NHS lists three symptoms as signs of COVID-19 in adults and children: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, and a loss or change in the sense of smell or taste. However, the team behind the Covid symptom study app say new data shows that the disease presents differently in children compared with adults.

“We need to start to telling people what are the key symptoms at different ages rather than this blanket obsession with fever, cough and lack of smell,” said Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London, who led the work.

The team’s latest findings are based on reports of symptoms among 198 children who tested positive for the disease out of almost 16,000 tested. Crucially, the team noted, parents could have tested their children at the same time as they themselves took a test, meaning the children could have been tested even if they had no symptoms. While a third of the children who tested positive showed no symptoms – adding weight to other work showing many infections are asymptomatic – the team said those who did showed a different set of symptoms than adults.

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