Warning: COVID may impact our children!

Author: Hayley Alexander

Parents need to be watching out for a rare syndrome that’s believed to be linked to COVID-19

 

Previously, clinical manifestations of COVID-19 were thought to be milder in children compared with adults.  

 

But it would seem that this has changed.

 

Reported just a few months ago by trusted medical sources, experts are warning parents to look out for symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome that’s referred to as Paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PMIS), or Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).  

 

The cause is still unknown, but it is thought to be linked to the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that “many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19.”

 

According to a Healthline report, “children with PMIS experience an immune response that affects blood vessels and arteries, leading to inflammation that can cause heart damage.” It has also been known to cause inflammation of the lungs, brain, kidneys, eyes and gastrointestinal tract. 

 

The signs and symptoms of PMIS are said to be similar to children who have Kawasaki disease, or toxic shock syndrome. Although not all children will have the same signs, according to Healthline they may include: 

 

  • “fever” [that’s persistent for longer than 24hours],

  • “severe abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhoea,”

  • “bloodshot eyes,”

  • “skin rash,”

  • “change in skin colour, 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.”

 

Specific to PMIS/ MIS-C, other red flags to look out for are: 

 

  1. “swelling and redness in the hands and feet”

  2. “redness or cracking in the lips or tongue”

  3. “swollen lymph nodes in the neck.”

 

Although PMIS is a classified as a “postinfectious syndrome” – which means it may have been triggered by COVID, or another infection initially, and develops more likely after it has passed – unlike COVID, it is not contagious and can be treated if it’s detected early. 

 

This syndrome is rare, and most children who have it eventually get better with medical care. However, should your child show any out of the ordinary symptoms such as having a rash, swollen glands or abdominal pains, it’s important to call your doctor or paediatrician immediately, but also to self-isolate.

 

Remember, even though PMIS itself is not contagious, there’s a risk that you or another family member may be a carrier for COVID, without showing any signs. 

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