Post-COVID-19 syndrome in children

A sick child
A sick child (Photo credit: Bck Online)

Children are at risk of developing swollen body parts due to the condition, multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS), which affects children who have recently recovered from the coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “MIS is a rare but serious condition in which different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs,” There are two forms of this disease, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and adults, (MIS-C and MIS-A), but MIS-C is more common. The causes of the condition are not clear, but the CDC notes that children with the disease had Covid-19 or were exposed to people with the coronavirus. MIS-C is a deadly disease, but “most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care,” documents the CDC.

In a meeting on Thursday with the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation (WMC), the medical officer of health for the parish, Dr Marcia Graham, has alerted parents with children who had COVID-19, to watch if they display symptoms of MIS-C. Children may show signs of MIS-C within two to four weeks of catching COVID-19, “It presents with fever. If they have a fever for more than a day, get it checked out,” she said. Graham further added that children with vomiting and diarrhoea may have MIS-C, rather than gastroenteritis and their blood pressure should be monitored as well.

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The CDC documents that dizziness or light-headedness is a sign of low blood pressure and skin rash is also a symptom of MIS-C. Dr Graham said there have been more than ten cases of the disease in Westmoreland, but the patients have recovered. 

In mid-January, the president of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), Dr Brian James, encouraged the healthcare system to look out for children with MIS-C.  At that time, reports from the Bustamante Hospital for Children showed that there was an increase in COVID-19 cases in children. But The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that children are at a lower risk of developing COVID-19 than adults, though underlying illnesses make them more at risk of the coronavirus. 

The common conditions include obesity, chronic lung disease (including asthma) and cardiovascular (heart) disease.

With the information known about MIS-C, “the best way you can protect your child is by taking everyday actions to prevent your child and the entire household from getting the virus that causes COVID-19,” documents the CDC.

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