17 Jun 2021: Delhi hospitals report rare condition in children: multi inflammatory syndrome
Hospitals across the national capital Delhi are reporting cases of a rare condition in children as a post-coronavirus complication - multi inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). However, doctors have assured that the affected children have mostly responded well to the treatment and the mortality rate remains low. But, what exactly is it and do you need to worry?
Condition: What is multi inflammatory syndrome?
MIS-C is a rare immune reaction that occurs around four to six weeks after a mild or asymptomatic coronavirus infection, according to medical journal The Lancet. Symptoms include fever lasting three or more days, eye infection, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach ache, and nausea. In extremely rare cases, the condition could lead to a multiple organ failure.
Cases: How many cases are there?
In early June, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi set up a dedicated ward for children suffering from MIS-C. Dr. Dhiren Gupta said the hospital has seen 52 such patients in less than four weeks. There were about 177 cases across Delhi-NCR, according to a report published in late May. However, the cases have begun to reduce lately, Dr. Gupta informed.
Details: Most cases in children aged 4-16: Doctor
According to Dr. Gupta, most of the cases were in children aged 4-16. He said the condition led to cardiac issues in a worrying 70% patients while gastro-intestinal and abdominal symptoms were seen in 50% patients. "Brain issues such as encephalitis in 20% and two patients had nerve paralysis. These were the major issues we observed and blood pressure was down in almost 80%."
Fact: How many cases were there last year?
In the first wave of COVID-19 last year, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital reported a total of 120 cases over a span of six months. Nearly 2,000 children were affected all across India during the first wave, according to the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.
Advice: What should parents do?
Experts say parents should look for early signs and consult a doctor if symptoms persist. "What parents need to do is report to a pediatrician if a child has fever for more than three days within six weeks of recovering from COVID-19," said Dr. Anurag Aggarwal of Maulana Azad Medical College, according to The Indian Express. "Be aware and not afraid," the doctor added.
Fact: What is the treatment?
MIS-C is treated using supportive care such as intravenous fluids, medications that reduce inflammation, and treatments to improve heart function and breathing. Use of corticosteroids and remdesivir is advised only for hospitalized patients with critical illness.
Situation: India's coronavirus situation
India faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, but the situation has since improved. In the past 24 hours, the country reported nearly 67,000 new infections. More than 2,300 deaths were also recorded during the same period. India has administered over 25 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, but only 3.5% of the total population is fully vaccinated.
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