Covid-19 in children is Problematic but it is a misconception that covid does not affect children’s health. In the initial stages of the pandemic, the children were diagnosed with Pushed Covid Inflammatory Syndrome or Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS).
How does the coronavirus affect kids?
When the virus enters the body of the child, he/she may not show any symptoms i.e remain asymptomatic. After 2-4 weeks, the body starts producing antibodies to fight this virus.
These antibodies later damage the patient and majorly affecting the blood vessels of the heart (coronary vessels), intestine, and brain. They also get an entity called the Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki disease is the dreaded complication of PIMS or involvement of the heart.
Covid in Children Symptoms
- Persistent high-grade fever for more than 24 hours.
- Excessive sleepiness & the children could experience fits.
- Rashes on face, conjunctivital symptoms and typical swelling of hands and body.
- The child does not respond to normal stimulus and behaves differently from usual.
- Diarrhea is persistent for 24-48 hours.
- Acute Appendicitis (Acute abdominal pain in children). In some cases, regardless of the CT scan being done, the patient was having normal appendix but was diagnosed with PIMS.
- These damaged blood vessels result in reduced blood supply to the heart and this may lead to heart failure.
- When antibodies are excess in the amount it leads to another variant disease known as the toxic shock syndrome which causes shock in the child.
How Do Doctors Diagnose PIMS?
Even if the child has been asymptomatic but later the child may start producing the symptoms. Thus, if the child has a persisting fever for more than 24 hours it is recommended to consult a doctor. Later if the child has been diagnosed with covid antibody-positive as well as is having persistent symptoms the child may or may not have PIMS.
If PIMS is diagnosed early the recovery rate is very good and there are good treatment modalities are available. Once diagnosed with PMIS the child has to be hospitalized and in the later stages i.e. when the child starts having problems with the heart/brain/low blood pressure or is diagnosed with Kawasaki disease the child may have to be kept under ICU observation.
Treatment for Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome
- Methylprednisolone steroids are given which is used as a medicine to reduce the antibody level.
- IVIG i.e. intravenous immunoglobulin which is very effective in the treatment of Kawasaki disease.
- Aspirin is used to treat Kawasaki disease.
- Sometimes when the condition is too critical i.e. the child is not responding, a medicine known as tocilizumab is used for the treatment.
If the child is diagnosed early and treated accordingly the outcomes are very good. If the disease is suspected then it is recommended to consult your pediatrician as early as possible.
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