Every week in Fact/Fiction, The Big Issue examines spurious claims, questionable studies or debatable stories from the press to determine whether they are fact or fiction. This week we find out if kids really are suffering from the effects of ‘long Covid’.
How it was told
Children have been among the worst affected during the pandemic. Between school closures, being separated from friends and nosediving mental health, they’ve been dubbed Generation Covid for good reason.
But, if reports are true, a huge number are suffering physical symptoms of the virus too.
Nearly 75,000 UK kids are experiencing ‘long Covid’, recent headlines claimed, the name given to the coronavirus symptoms which can linger for weeks or months after an infection. Given how little we know for sure about the novel illness, everything from tiredness to tinnitus to pins and needles could signal a Covid-19 infection’s long-term impact on the body.
Metro covered the story, based on Office for National Statistics data, with the headline: “‘More than 74,000 children’ suffering from long Covid months after infection”.
And The Sun laid it on thick, alerting readers with “HEALTH HORROR: Long Covid kids left in crippling long-term pain as chronic condition ‘strikes down 74,000 Brit youngsters’”.