The Children and young people with Long COVID (CLoCk) study is the largest study to date of children and young people in the world. It aims to describe how children and young people are affected by post-COVID physical symptoms and mental health problems and to identify those most at risk.
The CLoCk study is led by UCL and Public Health England and involves collaboration with researchers at the universities of Edinburgh, Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, Liverpool, Leicester, Manchester as well as King’s College London, Imperial College London, Public Health England, Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London Hospitals (UCLH).
Researchers surveyed 3,065 11- to 17-year-olds in England who tested positive for Covid-19 in a PCR test between January and March. They also surveyed a matched control group of 3,739 11- to 17-year-olds who tested negative over the same period.
Initial results show that, 15 weeks after their positive test:
- 14% more young people in the test positive group had three or more symptoms of ill health than the test negative group
- 7% more young people in the test positive group had five or more symptoms of ill health than the test negative group.
Professor Sir Terence Stephenson, from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, is lead author on the CLoCk study. He said: “There is consistent evidence that some teenagers will have persisting symptoms after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Our study supports this evidence, with headaches and unusual tiredness the most common complaints."