There’s a new option for kids with prolonged symptoms after COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Norton Children’s Infectious Diseases, affiliated with the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has opened a COVID-19 Follow-up Clinic. The clinic is for children and teens experiencing persistent effects after a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.

“Children and teens may feel unwell for a prolonged amount of time after confirmed or suspected illness with COVID-19,” said Gary S Marshall, M.D., chief of pediatric infectious diseases for Norton Children’s and the UofL Department of Pediatrics. “The COVID-19 Follow-up Clinic assesses the medical condition of children recovering from acute COVID-19 and determines if further testing or referral to a specialist is warranted.”

Children can be seen by a pediatric infectious diseases specialist as soon as the day after receiving a physician referral to the COVID-19 Follow-up Clinic. Appointments are available in person and via telehealth through a MyNortonChart account.

Before a child can be referred to the clinic, they will need to:

·        Have had a proven or strongly suspected COVID-19 diagnosis

·        Be without a fever (without using fever-reducing medicines)

·        Be 10 days past the first time they experienced symptoms and/or received a positive COVID-19 test

·        Still feel unwell with symptoms

In most children, COVID-19 is mild and they fully recover without the need for ongoing treatment. For some, symptoms, including fatigue, body aches, headache and loss of smell and taste, may last for months after the virus.

“If your child has symptoms that last more than two weeks, they may benefit from evaluation at the clinic,” Dr. Marshall said.

The Norton Children’s Infectious Diseases COVID-19 Follow-up Clinic is separate from the Norton Children’s Pediatric MIS-C Multidisciplinary Clinic launched earlier this year. The MIS-C clinic is intended for follow-up of kids discharged from the hospital who were admitted with the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) that sometimes follows COVID-19.