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Your Covid-19 questions answered

What is post-Covid syndrome?

16 May 2022 - 07:00
People who have been infected with Covid-19 can experience symptoms after recovery. File photo.
People who have been infected with Covid-19 can experience symptoms after recovery. File photo.
Image: 123rf/galitskaya

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there are adults and children who experience post-Covid syndrome after infection with the coronavirus. This means developing symptoms long after recovery from the virus. 

The organisation’s chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said symptoms of post-Covid syndrome include fatigue and headaches. She said these symptoms can persist for weeks, and in some cases months. 

Swaminathan was speaking about the importance of vaccination for children who are eligible for the jab. She said the organisation recommends the vaccination of children above the age of five years.

“The first reason is to prevent children from getting sick and from getting long Covid-19 syndrome, to reduce transmission in the community and to [allow] economies and educational institutions to stay open without having to shut down repeatedly,” she said.

Swaminathan said children who do not have underlying health conditions should not be prioritised for vaccination over the elderly with weaker immune systems.

“Older adults are at a much higher risk of severe illness than children, but once countries have managed to vaccinate these groups, children and adolescents can also get vaccinated.”

Swaminathan said while children and adolescents also experience side-effects from vaccination, these are often mild and only last for a few days.

“So far, from the children vaccinated around the world, we know that side-effects are very rare,” she said.

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