Health & Fitness

At 12, she is a long-haul Covid.

Chris recently met with Dr. Peter Rowe, a professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins who specializes in chronic and debilitating conditions such as myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome, which is often caused by a viral disease and has no approved drug treatments. Dr. Rowe noted that Chris has a racing heart condition known as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome [POTS], which can occur after viral infections and which limits the ability to carry out everyday activities.

"He was able to train 60 and 70 miles a week as a runner," said Dr. Rowe, adding that some of the symptoms and the "really severe impairment" that Chris and many other long-distance riders suffer from are characteristic of ME / CFS.

Under the direction of Dr. Rowe tried various drugs on Chris to help relieve symptoms.

In Baltimore, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, a treatment facility for children with neurological and other chronic disabilities, provides multidisciplinary services to those under the age of 21 who continue to face challenges after Covid-19. So far the institute has only seen one patient, said Dr. Melissa Trovato, the institute's interim medical rehabilitation director.

With infections increasing, Dr. Trovato said it was "quite possible" that the clinic will see more patients with persistent symptoms in the coming months. Based on the perception that Covid-19 is rare in children, parents may not associate a mild illness and subsequent effects such as loss of energy with the coronavirus.

"It could take more time for the family to pick it up," she said. "From a pediatric point of view, we are likely to find out more as more children" with "persistent symptoms appear and be seen".

Ziah McKinney-Taylor, an Atlanta dancer and birthing doula, never doubted her 14-year-old daughter Ava was suffering from the persistent effects of Covid-19, despite testing negative for both the virus and antibodies. Before Ava fell ill in March, Ms. McKinney-Taylor said, she was a "super energetic kid" who took dance and aikido classes five days a week. That has changed. "She never really got her energy back, she always sleeps and naps," she said.

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