Children with comorbidities like cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular problems are more vulnerable to COVID-19, and take a more serious turn when they have Paediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome, said Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of Wadia Hospitals.
In a discussion with DataBaaz, Dr Bodhanwala discussed the implications of 21 children in Wadia Hospital developing complications of PMIS, out of which one was a fatality.
"We started identifying cases of PMIS by the end of May and June, and these cases were mostly children who were already COVID-19 positive, have had COVID-19 previously, or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19," said Dr Bodhanwala.
This is part of a worrying trend where countries like US, UK, Spain, Italy and China had been reporting cases of children with COVID-19 that have Kawasaki-like symptoms since April. Dr Bodhanwala said that out of the 150 COVID-19 confirmed positive cases of children in Wadia hospital, 21 had PMIS. These patients had a varying age group, ranging from 5 to 14.
According to a report by New Indian Express, there were five to six children who had been treated for COVID-19 also had Kawasaki-like symptoms in Delhi based Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital.
What is Kawasaki disease?
Kawasaki disease is generally seen in children who are aged 5 or below, where manifested symptoms include fever, inflammation, and rashes. But now, these symptoms are being seen in older children, somtimes as old as 14. These Kawasaki-like manifestations are a part of a serious umbrella condition called Paediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome.
"At Wadia Hospital, most children with this condition were brought in when they had more serious symptoms of PMIS like cardio-vascular shock and severe breathlessness," said Dr Bodhanwala.
What can parents do?
But Dr Bodhanwala thinks that parents can be more vigilant and catch the symptoms of PMIS early. "If the child is showing symptoms like fever, breathlessness, and diarrhoea, its important to get your child evaluated, especially if your child has had COVID-19, or is in contact with someone who has COVID-19." she said.
These manifestations are due to low immunity. "We know this because their immunity started improving with steroids and IV immunoglobulin. And this was in spite of going through the bout of COVID-19 that gives you immunity," Dr Bodhanwala added.
Long-term impact of COVID-19
New findings of adults who have had COVID-19 indicate that their ordeal doesn't end with being discharged from the hospital. According to a study by three doctors at Columbia, COVID-19 has a long-term effect on multiple organs. Patients who have been discharged and are free from COVID-19 have to deal with problems like blood clots, kidney damage and other symptoms that make their road to recovery long and winded.
But the path to recovery for children are simpler as compared to adults who have COVID-19. "We've found it takes around 10 to 20 days for these children to recover from their illness, and there is no sign of any residual damage," Dr Bodhanwala added.
-Children with co-morbidities like cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular problems are more vulnerable to COVID-19, and take a more serious turn when they have Paediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome.
-Fever, breathlessness and diarrhoea are red flag symptoms that parents should watch out for to diagnose PMIS.
-Children recover from COVID-19 without any long term damage.
Catch the full interview on YouTube or click on the link here.
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