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2022 Feb 10

Sci Rep



Comparison of mental health outcomes in seropositive and seronegative adolescents during the COVID19 pandemic.


Blankenburg J, Wekenborg MK, Reichert J, Kirsten C, Kahre E, Haag L, Schumm L, Czyborra P, Berner R, Armann JP
Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 10; 12(1):2246.
PMID: 35145161.


Post-COVID19 complications such as pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS) and Long-COVID19 move increasingly into focus, potentially causing more harm in young adolescents than the acute infection. To better understand the symptoms of long-term mental health outcomes in adolescents and distinguish infection-associated symptoms from pandemic-associated symptoms, we conducted a 12 question Long-COVID19 survey. Using this survey, we compared the responses on neurocognitive, general pain and mood symptoms from seropositive and seronegative adolescents in a cross-sectional study design. Since May 2020, students grade 8-12 in fourteen secondary schools in Eastern Saxony were enrolled in the SchoolCovid19 study. Serostatus was assessed regularly in all participants. In March/April 2021, 1560 students with a median age of 15 years participated at the regular study visit after re-opening of the schools in mid-March and responded to our Long-COVID19 survey as part of this visit. 1365 (88%) students were seronegative, 188 (12%) were seropositive. Each symptom asked in the Long-COVID19 survey was present in at least 35% of the students within the last seven days before the survey. With the exception of seropositive students being less sad, there was no significant difference comparing the reported symptoms between seropositive students and seronegative students. The lack of differences comparing the reported symptoms between seropositive and seronegative students suggests that Long-COVID19 might be less common than previously thought and emphasizes on the impact of pandemic-associated symptoms regarding the well-being and mental health of young adolescents.Clinical Trial Registration: SchoolCoviDD19: Prospektive Erfassung der SARS-CoV-2 Seropositivität bei Schulkindern nach Ende der unterrichtsfreien Zeit aufgrund der Corona-Schutz-Verordnung (COVID-19), DRKS00022455, https://www.drks.de/drks_web/navigate.do?navigationId=trial.HTML&TRIAL_ID=DRKS00022455.