Doctors across the State are seeing more cases of a rare inflammatory syndrome in children, a post-COVID-19 complication that was reported during the first wave too.
Known as Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), this is a rare complication characterised by fever, inflammation, and multi-organ dysfunction that typically manifests two weeks after the child has been cured of COVID-19, doctors said.
Although there is no centralised data on the number of affected children, doctors said it is being reported in around 0.5% of children who have recovered from COVID-19. Over 50,000 children in the 0-9 age group have been infected in the State since March 1.
Sagar Bhattad, Paediatric Immunologist at Aster CMI Hospital, said 14 new cases have been reported in the last 15 days in Aster CMI and Aster RV hospitals.
“Overall, since last year, we have seen nearly 45 cases. As symptoms of this syndrome are similar to Kawasaki disease, it is also referred to as Kawasaki-like illness,” he said.
Ravi Kiran, Senior Consultant, Pediatrics and Neonatology at Sakra World Hospital, said early diagnosis and treatment is the key to successful management of MIS-C cases. “We cannot predict which particular child is vulnerable but once symptoms appear, there are set criteria to diagnose it accurately. Hospitalisation is required and in some cases ICU care may be necessary also,” he said. Six cases were reported in Sindhanur town of Raichur district last week.
Asha Benekappa, former director of the State-run Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, said in the preparation for the third wave, when children are likely to be the most hit, having a centralised database for MIS-C cases is vital.
“Early identification and referral to a super-speciality hospital is important. Treatment requires intravenous immunoglobulins, which are very expensive, and there is a need to stock up this drug now,” said Dr. Benekappa, who now heads the Department of Paediatrics at the Dr. Chandramma Dayananda Sagar Institute of Medical Education and Research.
Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said the government is closely monitoring MIS-C cases.
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