Technische Universität Ilmenau is involved in a large-scale research project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on Long Covid. Many people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 still suffer from symptoms such as exhaustion and impaired performance months later. Long Covid can also occur in children and adolescents, but exact data on this are lacking, and therefore so are treatments and rehabilitation programs. The LongCOCid project now wants to change that.

More than 4.2 million Germans have contracted the Corona virus so far (as of 1 October 2021), of which 2.6 percent are children under ten years of age and 4.9 percent are children and adolescents between ten and 19 years of age. As the course of the disease in children and adolescents is usually mild or there are no symptoms at all, illnesses are often not recognised at all, so the number of unreported cases is probably high.

Not only is there great uncertainty about the incidence of the disease in children and adolescents, but there have also been hardly any studies to date on the course of Long Covid infection in people under the age of 20. However, it is certain that even in this age group late effects can occur that last longer than twelve weeks: reduced resilience, chronic fatigue, concentration disorders, limb and muscle pain, headaches, abdominal pain, sleep disorders, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

The research project "Long COVID-19 in Children (LongCOCid)", led by the University Hospital Jena and involving the TU Ilmenau as well as the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, now aims to provide robust findings on the course of post-Covid in children and adolescents. Together with practicing pediatricians, the scientists want to precisely describe the course of the disease in children and adolescents. Using the largest group studied in Germany to date, a total of 80 children and adolescents, they will investigate the onset and development of the disease with numerous factors involved for causes of the disease. In doing so, they will investigate possible connections with circulatory disorders, faulty vascular regulation, inflammation of the nervous tissue and changes in the immune system. The researchers are also comparing the so-called burden of disease, i.e. the health restrictions of children after a SARS-CoV-2 infection, with those of an uninfected control group. The project leader of the TU Ilmenau of the LongCOCid project,

Prof. Sascha Klee, Head of the Optoelectrophysiological Engineering Group, is confident that the findings will help to develop effective treatments and rehabilitation programs specifically tailored to children and adolescents: "The multidisciplinary approach of the LongCOCid project, in particular, is ideally suited to taking a combined look at the disease factors known to date. Thanks to our many years of experience in studying the smallest vessels, the research team at TU Ilmenau can make a valuable contribution here."


Prof. Sascha Klee
Head of
Optoelectrophysiological Engineering
+49 3677 69-1323

Download as PDF (German only)