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MIS-C Symptoms – A Rare Yet Worrisome Post COVID-19 Complication In Kids

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Introduction

Although COVID-19 causes comparatively milder problems in children than elderly individuals, some kids may need extra medical attention because of MIS-C symptoms. Children may rarely develop unusual and severe symptoms even after they have recovered from COVID-19. MIS-C after COVID-19 is a severe and fatal complication in children which needs prompt diagnosis for a reliable cure. The full name of this condition is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children. It can affect children with a history of COVID-19 infection even weeks after the children are free from the COVID-19 infection.

MIS-C in children can lead to inflammation of some of the most vital organs such as the brain, heart, lung and kidneys. MIS-C can also cause swelling of eyes, skin and other organs in the digestive system of children. Prompt medical attention is significant because these symptoms can lead to fatal complications in children. MIS-C might harm vital organs, including the heart, because of extensive blood clotting. The swelling or inflammation caused by MIS-C in children is also harmful to the digestive system, blood vessels, brain and kidneys. 

Understanding key symptoms of MIS-C

Observation of MIS-C symptoms plays a vital part in early diagnosis and treatment. MIS-C is a syndrome, which means it is an assortment of signs and symptoms that may involve multiple organs.

One should immediately consult a qualified medical practitioner if the following symptoms are present:

  • Persistent fever lasting for over 24 hours.
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting 
  • Extreme tiredness 
  • Faster breathing
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Redness on tongue and lips.
  • Swollen hands or feet with redness.
  • Redness in eyes

Besides these symptoms, one should also look for the following emergency signs that need prompt medical attention:

  • The child’s nails, skin or lips appear pale or are turning greyish or bluish. 
  • The child is continuously sleeping and is finding it difficult to stay awake.
  • There is very severe pain in the stomach and the child is getting breathless.

You need to remember that the severity and variety of signs and symptoms can differ for different children. One must take the child to an emergency care clinic in the presence of any one of the emergency signs of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children highlighted above. 

What are the causes of MIS-C?

Since MIS-C is a relatively new syndrome, there is very little knowledge about the exact cause of this post-COVID-19 complication in kids. It may be because of an over-aggressive, defensive reaction of the body to the invading virus. Medical researchers also suspect secondary infection and COVID-19 that may cause multiple signs and symptoms of MIS-C. 

Some researchers feel that failure to treat COVID-19 can lead to MIS-C symptoms in children. 

They also attribute MIS-C to genetic factors and several theories are being put forward to establish links between genetics and MIS-C, which is a rare condition. It can affect kids ranging from three years old to twelve years old. Failure to diagnose COVID-19 in primary stages and subsequent lack of treatment can lead to MIS-C symptoms.  

Suggested course of action if one observes symptoms of MIS-C 

Observing a child for the symptoms is the only way to detect the onset of MIS-C in time. One should be careful about the occurrence of critical signs, including bluish nails, lips or skin, severe breathlessness and difficulty in staying awake. Doctors will conduct some routine tests including blood, urine, swab, chest X-ray, ECG and so forth. 

Doctors follow MIS-C treatment guidelines in India to manage the symptoms and critical health conditions of the child. They give the treatment of MIS-C in a hospital or kids intensive care unit.

Even if you feel that signs of MIS-C in your kid are mild, get the child to a doctor for an expert opinion. Minor symptoms of MIS-C can also lead to long-term problems for the heart or nervous system. Your doctor will recommend some routine tests to rule out any possibility of damage to organs or suggest the treatment for early recovery. Since there is limited medical knowledge about the causes and treatment of MIS-C, the only option is to watch the child for symptoms and report to the child specialist immediately for prompt care.  

Also Read: COVID-19 Treatment Protocol For Children

Conclusion

The best policy to avoid post-COVID-19 complications in kids is to protect them from getting COVID-19 infection. Symptoms of MIS-C may not be similar for every child, so there is no need to panic and rush to conclusions. Consultation with your doctor to find the exact cause of symptoms is the most prudent way to deal with such a situation. Most children recover with no complications of MIS-C COVID-19 provided they receive proper treatment in a hospital setup. Only a few of them may have to receive appropriate medical care for a slightly longer period. A recent study in the UK provides a respite to parents. It confirms that most of the symptoms of Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome or MIS-C fade away over six months.

Take Care of the following

Children who develop some problems with the heart may have to avoid outdoor sports for some time. Incidence of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children (MIS-C) is extremely rare. One can prevent it only by preventing COVID-19 infection in kids. So it is necessary to make your kids follow all precautions and preventive measures such as safe distance, hand hygiene and mask usage. One should take special care of kids by avoiding contact with a family member who is COVID-19 positive. Ideally, safeguard kids by protecting every member of your family by observing all necessary precautions and following all instructions from the health authorities.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

About the author

Shreya Gupta

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