While most children who get COVID-19 have a minor illness, some can get very sick. Unfortunately, with the Delta and Omicron variants, we are seeing more children getting sick and being hospitalized with COVID-19. Infected children are also able to pass on COVID-19 to other people in their families and communities.
Some children may continue to feel sick weeks or months after the initial illness. This is called Post-COVID-19 condition or “long COVID”. Early studies suggest that "long COVID" is less common in children and young people than adults.
Some children have a higher chance of more serious symptoms if they get COVID-19. This includes children with pre-existing conditions, especially more than one pre-existing condition, including:
chronic lung disease
congenital heart disease
neurodevelopmental disorders, including trisomy 21
Check with your healthcare provider or public health unit if you have any concerns.
Children are also at risk of developing a serious but rare condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) after COVID-19 infection. MIS-C is caused by an exaggerated immune response, leading to severe widespread inflammation, and can appear several weeks after infection. As of March 25 2022, there have been 28 confirmed cases MIS-C in BC since January 1, 2020.
In this video, BC Children’s Hospital Infectious Disease Pediatric Physician Dr. Manish Sadarangani discusses severe COVID-19 infection in children.
Video courtesy of BC Children’s Hospital