Coronavirus is rapidly spreading over the globe causing problems for all age groups. Other than the issues that COVID-19 has caused in daily life, the illness caused by novel coronavirus is still evolving, which means every other day we are learning new things about it. The COVID 19 has been linked with a rare illness in the paediatric population too, called the pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome. Details about this illness continue to emerge and it looks like a complication in children who have been infected with coronavirus infection.
How this actually works is still a mystery but most likely it is a consequence of inflammatory-immunological response to COVID 19 infection and usually occurs two to four weeks after exposure to the virus.
In children, it happens when different body parts are inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. Patients with this syndrome have a fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, skin rash, mucocutaneous lesions and in severe cases, hypotension and shock.
For now, the syndrome seems to be mimicking other rare childhood conditions like Kawasaki disease in that it can cause problems with the heart and blood vessels leading to the heart. So, an investigation reveals evidence of inflammation and in a majority of patient’s evidence of damage to the heart (damage to the muscle of the heart-myocarditis) leading to cardiac dysfunction and acute kidney injury.
Children who become sick with MIS-C will need to be treated in the hospital and some may require intensive care treatment like need to support blood pressure with medicines in the intensive care unit. All these recovered children will need to be on regular follow-up with a paediatric cardiologist to look for the recovery of the inflamed heart muscle or heart arteries. They might need long-term medications as per the heart condition.
The best way to prevent MIS-C is to avoid getting exposed to coronavirus. So ask your children to wash their hands, wear a mask and avoid taking them outside these days. Teach them to maintain a six feet distance. Clean and disinfect their toys and house regularly.