HealthDay News — Children with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection should receive pediatric follow-up care to monitor for symptom resolution and screen for and address health concerns, according to guidance published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Noting that more than 4 million children have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, the report addresses the role of pediatricians in the care of patients after infection.
According to the guidance, all patients who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 should have at least one follow-up visit. A coordinated dialogue is necessary to monitor symptoms, explore development of new symptoms, and help guide return to activity. Depending on the specific symptoms and their duration, patients with continued symptoms should receive coordinated follow-up. Regardless of residual symptoms, pediatricians should discuss COVID-19 vaccination; return to daily living; return to sports or physical activity; return to camp; return to child care, school, and higher education; and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Some of the ongoing or residual symptoms known to occur after SARS-CoV-2 infection include respiratory, cardiac, anosmia and/or ageusia, neurodevelopmental, cognitive fogginess or fatigue, physical fatigue/poor endurance, headache, and mental health/behavioral health sequelae.
“Pediatricians play a vital role in caring for children and adolescents after they’ve been infected with COVID-19,” guidance coauthor Sarah Risen, M.D., from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, said in a statement. “A follow-up visit allows doctors to assess if there are any lingering or new symptoms or complications from the COVID-19 infection and gives pediatricians the chance to discuss the COVID-19 vaccination.”