COVID-19 has affected people of all age groups but has been found more commonly in older adults and with significantly worse impacts. Previously, it was thought children are less likely to be affected, with 11.8% and 4.2% of all affected people in Bangladesh being below the age of 20 and 10 years, respectively. Yet, clinical reports from the United States and across Europe suggest there is a new clinical syndrome linked with COVID-19 that children are particularly susceptible to.
This new and rare disease called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) or Paediatric Multi system Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) can cause widespread inflammation restricting blood flow and damaging multiple organs like the heart, kidney, and liver.
In Bangladesh, it was first identified at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka recently, says a press release. Dr M Quamrul Hassan, Senior Consultant of Paediatrics, Dr Tahera Nazrin, Consultant of Paediatric Cardiology along with the paediatric and intensive care team diagnosed and treated two such cases achieving positive outcomes. These were the first reported cases in the country.
The patients were a 3 months old girl and a boy who was 2 years old. Both children presented with a high fever of 102 to 105°F for 5 and 7 days respectively and had diarrhoea, congested eyes, red lips, and mild swelling of feet. There was significant involvement of the heart with the widening of their coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart itself. The older child also experienced convulsion and went on to suffer from swelling of heart chambers, low blood pressure and heart failure. He had also tested positive for COVID-19 in an RT-PCR test. Although the other patient had tested negative, her family members all tested positive soon after. The male child required treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
However, both patients had to be closely monitored and were given Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) – a mixture of antibodies, prepared from the blood plasma of healthy donors, which can help fight infection and inflammation. They were discharged from the hospital as their conditions stabilised and improved significantly following treatment.
In this ongoing pandemic, parents should be wary of this rare but dangerous new phenomenon alongside preventing their children from contracting the noxious virus. It is important to be aware of how this disease manifests and what we can do to prevent it from affecting our children.