WEST VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Health officials in West Virginia are warning residents, especially parents, about the risks of long COVID.

During the governor’s COVID response briefing on Wednesday, Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh warned West Virginians about the effects of long COVID and what to look out for if your child has contracted the coronavirus before.

Dr. Marsh says the effects of long COVID could begin as early as a month after the initial infection. He also explained that parents should be on the lookout for symptoms that could point to pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome in school-age kids. Pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

“So certainly if you develop problems with your thinking, or with your concentration ability or headaches or shortness of breath or have any other problem then start to think or at least consider the possibility that this could be some of the effects of long COVID,” Dr. Marsh explained.

According to the CDC, other symptoms of MIS-C include an ongoing fever and more than one of the following:

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness (signs of low blood pressure)
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting

The CDC also recommends seeking emergency medical care immediately if someone is showing any of these signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

The CDC also warns that not all children will have the same symptoms.

Dr. Marsh highlighted that West Virginians must stay vigilant as the state and the country are not yet out of the pandemic.

“It is also important that we not let our guard down too quickly and still make sure that we protect ourselves as we’re older because these are the people that are the most vulnerable still to the most significant and severe consequences of COVID-19,” Dr. Marsh said.