A study reveals a new negative impact of “Covid-19” on children A study reveals a new negative impact of “Covid-19” on children

A study reveals a new negative impact of “Covid-19” on children

A study reveals a new negative impact of “Covid-19” on children
A new study has found that exposing a baby to the SARS-CoV-2 virus while in the womb or as a newborn may delay social development and increase breathing problems.

In the study published by eClinicalMedicine, the research team, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and the University of Leicester, sought to understand whether exposure to “Covid-19” infection during pregnancy or immediately after birth has a long-term impact on children’s growth and breathing, and whether They had more health problems than children who were not exposed to the infection.

The study revealed that children who were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, in the womb or as newborns may have greater difficulties with social skills and have more respiratory symptoms than unexposed children.

Previous research suggests that infants exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy may have poorer lung development and delayed early development before 12 months of age, especially when compared to those born before the “Covid-19” pandemic. However, to date, long-term outcomes for children born during the COVID-19 pandemic, with or without exposure to SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy or in the neonatal period, have remained unclear.

In the new study, researchers contacted families cared for at 87 NHS hospitals in England and Wales to complete surveys about their children's growth and respiratory health.

Participants included 96 children born to mothers in the group exposed to SARS-CoV-2, and 243 children in the comparison group not exposed to the virus.

Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire about their children's growth and breathing problems up to their second birthday.

The team found that overall growth at 2 years of age did not differ between children exposed and unexposed to SARS-CoV-2. However, the group exposed to Covid-19 was more at risk for slight delays in social and emotional development.

Importantly, children who were exposed to the virus perinatally also had more breathing problems and used health care services more by age 2 years compared to the unexposed group.

Dr Ella Chakkarapani, co-lead author of the study and Professor of Neonatal Neurology and Director of the Center for Academic Child Health at Bristol Medical School, explained: “Our study suggests that prenatal or neonatal exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is associated with an increased risk of social and emotional difficulties. In early childhood, social and emotional delays in infancy pose a risk of difficulties later in childhood and may affect children’s ability to develop positive relationships with peers and achieve academic success.”

She added: “We can only say that children who are perinatally exposed to SARS-CoV-2 may face difficulties in social-emotional development. We need larger studies and long-term follow-up to confirm and understand this risk. If parents are concerned about their children’s development “After exposure to SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy, they should see their GP.”

She noted that long-term monitoring of lung function is also needed to determine if there is improvement as children get older. She said perinatal monitoring of the health of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection will help protect their health in the perinatal period and in future epidemics.


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