Hyderabad has seen a steep jump in cases where children show symptoms of MIS-C, a syndrome seen after the coronavirus. More than 43 cases were reported at Gandhi and Niloufer hospitals and over 100 cases in private hospitals in the last few months. A syndrome fairly common in adults, MIS is increasingly manifesting in children aged 0-10 years.
Most cases have symptoms like fever, rash, and swelling of the face, chest pain, and stomach ache. Certain cases have shown the RT-PCR test negative but the antibody test with a positive result. An antibody test usually tests positive anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months of infection. This means the child might be asymptomatic when infected.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
MIS-C is rare but often severe. This condition can develop in children as well as adolescents who have had COVID-19. Symptoms usually show up around 2-4 weeks after the infection. MIS-C manifests in various organs of the body. Symptoms like persistent fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, pain in the abdomen, shock, and cardiac damage are usually found. Children will usually show symptoms of inflammation and reduced white blood cells.
MIS-C might occur when the immune system of the body loses control and ends up harming the body itself. Multiple organs can be affected by hyper inflammation. More than 70% of the patients who require hospitalization need intensive care, with some also needing equipment for their hearts and lungs. Moreover, this disease is more commonly found in children of elementary school.
MIS-C, which according to studies, seems to be linked to COVID-19, causes major damage to the heart. Some children end up needing lifelong monitoring. Studies have also shown that the disease can affect seemingly healthy children without warning. According to findings, this disease causes damage like dilation of coronary blood vessels, a decrease in the heart’s ability to pump blood. Another important factor found was that a lot of patients stricken with the disease were overweight.
MIS-C is currently being treated with methods like intravenous immunoglobulin, aspirin, and steroids. In some cases, children are also given blood thinners, medicines to reduce the immune response, and medicines for blood pressure. It is not clear as of now whether the damage is long term. Since evidence shows that children have enormous inflammation and possible tissue injury in the heart, these children will need to be monitored constantly to understand long-term implications.
To protect children, parents will have to be aware of the symptoms. Parents will need to take their child to the hospital immediately if the child suffers from breathing issues, severe pain in the abdomen, chest pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, trouble staying awake, or a bluish tint to the lips. Symptoms like bloodshot eyes, neck pain, vomiting, fever, rash, etc also need immediate attention.
This is just one more very important reason that we need to follow all safety protocols. From wearing masks to maintaining social distancing, we need to ensure we adhere to these rules with utmost diligence. We need to continue maintaining hygiene, wash our hands, and stay at home as much as is possible.