By Eve Bandusena | Writer for Parents Avenue
All images via Freepik
Just a few months ago, reports from around the world concluded that children were the least affected demographic in the COVID-19 pandemic leaving parents everywhere a little relaxed. However, it seems these findings may have been premature.
A wave of mysterious and life-threatening coronavirus-related syndromes that began in April has been affecting children in Italy, Britain, and America. It’s now been recognized as the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C.
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 and is proven to be potentially fatal in children according to the Centre of Disease Control (CDC).
What’s immediately alarming is most of the children who are affected have no underlying health conditions and this is a cause for concern for many parents.
While children experience symptoms of MIS-C mildly, there have been reports of cases of children who were hospitalized with this condition that developed heart dysfunctions that involve the inflammation of the heart along with the major vessels around it.
While much of MIS-C is still being studied, doctors suspect there is a probable link between COVID-19 and the sudden rise of MIS-C cases. Children who experienced this condition had tested positive for coronavirus and developed antibodies suggesting they had it weeks before. Doctors also speculate that after being exposed to coronavirus, a strong and hostile immune response was triggered, enough to disrupt organ functions and blood pressure.
However, other experts have stated that there is a chance that the test may be inaccurate as COVID-19 antibody tests are often unreliable.
According to CNN Health, Dr. Nicholas Rister, an infectious disease specialist at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, said he has examined several children with a range of symptoms.
“I feel very terrible — some patients have said, you know, everything kind of hurts. And then swelling in various points of your body, especially your hands and your feet, and even your mouth,” he said.
A teenage survivor also compared the symptoms of MIS-C to “like someone injected you with straight-up fire” when he spoke to the New York Times at his stay at a hospital for heart failure.
The symptoms are typically post-viral. It typically manifests about two to six weeks after children contract the coronavirus. The symptoms differ from normal coronavirus symptoms and appear such as:
• Fever that lasts more than 5 days and gets higher
• Severe abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
• Bloodshot eyes
• Skin rash
• Change in skin color, which can include becoming pale, patchy, or blue
• Difficulty feeding or too sick to drink
• Trouble breathing or quick breathing
• Chest pain or racing heart
• Confusion, irritability, or lethargy
However, not everything is bad news.
A large margin of children with MIS-C who have responded optimistically and are recovering very well from treatment prescribed by doctors. However, there are rare cases where children have died from this syndrome.
As serious as this syndrome is – it’s quite rare. A large number of children are stated to have contracted the coronavirus and yet very few of them show mild symptoms and go on to develop the syndrome.
Segments of this article haves been extracted from https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/19/health/mis-c-coronavirus-children-doctors-immediate/index.html and https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zahrahirji/kids-coronavirus-kawasaki-disease-rare