Covid-19 in children likely to induce MIS: What is this complication and its treatment explained

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June 04, 2021 1:43 PM

Children having Coronavirus infection have been witnessing a syndrome and this has become a cause of worry. Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS), a Covid-19 linked syndrome is being detected in children and the union health ministry has directed all state governments to look out for this syndrome.

The symptoms can be looked out for depending on the areas of the body that are affected.

Children having Coronavirus infection have been witnessing a syndrome and this has become a cause of worry. Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS), a Covid-19 linked syndrome is being detected in children and the union health ministry has directed all state governments to look out for this syndrome. The government has also asked states to identify secondary and tertiary care institutions that have the expertise as well as facilities to help children with MIS-C. Over the past two weeks, several cases of the syndrome have been reported and the concerns regarding this becoming a notifiable disease are grave.

MIS in children can be a pretty serious complication. Usually children having Coronavirus infection have mild illness, however, the condition can get severe with MIS. With Covid-19 induced MIS, children can witness inflammation in some organs and tissues including lungs, heart, brain, blood vessels, digestive system, kidneys, skin or eyes. The symptoms can be looked out for depending on the areas of the body that are affected, a report by The IE noted.

So far, no data has come out that indicate a particular age group or children that can be affected by MIS. However, according to some studies done in France and New York, US, a probable cause that is being considered is genetic predisposition. However, there is still no clarity on it. To be sure, the symptoms of this syndrome as well as damage caused can vary among children. In some cases, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and respiratory distress can be noted..

Citing Dr Krishan Chugh, general paediatrics, Paediatric Critical Care, director and HOD, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, the report noted that this condition occurs after two to six weeks of active covid infection and starts with some fever. At the time, when conditions develop, the child is tested negative for Covid-19. However, the immune system of that child is expected to respond in a dysregulated manner. Chugh said that all the systems of the body are susceptible to get affected; however, the situation is dangerous when the heart is involved as it may result in a cardiac shock.

Given the syndrome is diagnosed early, treatment can be given and outcomes are usually good. However, it can get problematic to diagnose as it would need a high level of suspicion on the part of the doctor who is treating the child as well as confirmation by some laboratory tests. Lab tests on the second day of fever is important because fever is a common symptom for various problems including viral infections, typhoid, dengue, malaria or others.

Once the syndrome is confirmed, doctors will administer steroids that will help control the inflammation. Some immunomodulatory therapies like ivig, steroids have also been used to treat such problems with limited success.

Meanwhile, the problem has risen on the back of the second Covid-19 wave that has also impacted children along with adults in a large manner.

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