Pandemic impact on teens

How juveniles health issues linger from the virus
Covid Lungs
Posted at 6:45 PM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 18:41:34-05

TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — The number of cases of COVID-19 is dropping, but the aftermath of the positive cases continues and that includes young people. According to Banner-University Medicine pediatrician Dr. Helene Felman, COVID-19 cases are lower for youth, but the realities of the virus and aftermath still linger.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says about 16% of the more than 820,000 cases are people under 20-years-old and 24 of them have lost their lives to the virus.

“For kids for the most part they do pretty well. They have mild symptoms and some of them are asymptomatic. The problems come at the tail end of the age group so in kids younger than 1 they tend to need to be hospitalized more often. The same goes for our teenagers older than 14, 15, and 16 those children tend to need hospitalization sometimes intensive care,” Felman said.

Data from the state shows that just over 1,600 of cases involving juveniles have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic and for many respiratory and other health issues can make the recovery process more difficult.

“For the younger children, I’m finding that they bounce back pretty quickly. For the teenagers -- they're experiencing the same symptoms that adult patients are seeing. For example, I had two teenagers that recovered well from coronavirus but still couldn’t taste because they couldn’t smell,” Felman said.

New numbers from the American Academy of Pediatrics confirm that more than 3 million young people have tested positive for COVID–19 representing 13% of all cases.

"A large number of athletes without symptoms but had coronavirus infections affected the heart. So, we’re being very cautious with teens who have recovered even from an asymptomatic infection to make sure that we ask if they are having chest pain or shortness of breath or heart palpitations. Those teens that had coronavirus and were hospitalized, all of those teenagers are recommended to see a cardiologist,” Felman said.