Karnataka reports first case of rare post-COVID brain disease in 13-yr-old patient

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Karnataka reports first case of rare post-COVID brain disease in 13-yr-old patient

A 13-year-old patient in Karnataka's Davangere district has been diagnosed with Necrotizing Encephalopathy of Childhood (ANEC), a rare post-COVID-19 complication that affects the brain. The Medical Director of SS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, NK Kalappanavar, on Friday confirmed that this is Karnataka’s first and the country's second Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy of Childhood (ANEC) case. 

Addressing a joint press conference held along with Davangere Deputy Commissioner Mahantesh Belagi, Kalappanavar said that a 13-year-old patient is undergoing treatment at the hospital for the rare post-COVID-19 complication known as ANEC. Doctors say that ANEC is similar to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), affecting the brain of the patient. "There have been six MIS-C cases in the hospital till now, and all are recovering from it. ANEC is a very rare brain disorder found in kids," he said.

The 13-year-old patient was admitted to the hospital eight days ago. Kalappanavar said that a medical examination had revealed that the boy's brain was inactive. Following this, he was put on ventilator support for three days. He said the boy has been taken off the ventilator after he showed signs of improvement.

"The patient requires one more week's treatment. We need to examine how severely his brain is damaged once he recovers," he explained. "The patient is from the Hoovinahadagali taluka in Vijaynagar district. The treatment is very costly as each injection costs anywhere between Rs 75,000 and Rs 1 lakh for every child weighing around 30 kg," he said.

According to the American Journal of Neuroradiology, ANEC is a rapidly progressive encephalopathy affecting infants and children. It is a relatively new entity proposed by Mizuguchi in 1995. An article in the National Center for Biotechnology Information says “It can be diagnosed by bilateral symmetrical lesion in thalami, brain stem, periventricular white matter, and cerebellum. It is most commonly located in brainstem & thalami and occurs following viral infections.”

Most of the cases have been identified from Southeast Asia. While experts say that the scope of recovery from this condition is low, cases of total recovery have also been reported.

With IANS inputs

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