The US center for diseases control and prevention (CDC) reported on Wednesday that they could not yet confirm if the new coronavirus strain is responsible for the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare complication in children.
MIS-C symptoms in children are reported to occur weeks after the covid-19 infection. To be precise, the MIS-C complications are observed generally after 3 weeks of the covid-19 infection in children. These children were known to not to show any infection symptoms for covid-19.
The New Coronavirus Variant And The Impact On Children
According to CDC, MIS-C is a troubling complication in which different body parts become inflamed. The affected organs include the heart, kidney, lungs, brain, skin, eyes, etc. CDC is yet to ascertain the reasons why the complication arises and why some children are prone to these symptoms and not others.
Children are as prone as adults to be infected by the covid-19 infection. However, unlike adults, they are less likely to be hospitalized or die of the infection. Therefore, preventive measures, watchful eyes, and prompt treatment for children might save them from succumbing to the infection.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of January 21, about 2.68 million children were tested positive from covid-19 infection. The US witnessed about 165,480 fresh cases of covid-19 infection in children in the last two weeks. This accounts for a 16% increase in the covid-19 infection cases among children in these two weeks. Infected children in the US account for 12.7 % of the total covid-19 cases in the US.
Till last December, a total of about 1,659 cases of MIS-C were reported in children. As per CDC, the MIS-C cases were observed post covid-19 infection in them.
If going by the claims that the new coronavirus variants are more contagious, a greater number of MIS-C cases are expected to follow. But CDC does not have enough evidence yet for the same.
Dr. Angella Campbell, CDC medical officer in the influenza division, told CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices that they just don’t know about the impact of new variants on MIS-C cases, though are keen to get the answers.
The CDC is concerned about the increase in the number of reported MIS-C cases and is asking the public health departments to keep a look over the cases. Dr. Campbell said that the increase in the rare complication cases in children can be due to the surge in an overall covid-19 infection and might not necessarily due to a new coronavirus variant.
Dr. Campbell claimed that as per the statistics of the MIS-C, cases among children are unevenly distributed according to the color and origin of the child. As per the collected data, Black children are at risk of MIS-C six times higher than White children.
Hispanic children can develop the MIS-C complication post covid-19 infection, which is four times than that of White children. Asian-Pacific Islander is three times more likely to be diagnosed with MIS-C than a White child.
Children can recover quickly with prompt treatment. Therefore, parents and caregivers are advised to notify a doctor at the earliest if the kids are showing any of the covid-19 symptoms. Fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, neck pain, bloodshot eyes or extra tiredness in kids rings an alarm to visit a doctor and start prompt treatment.
Emergency care should be sought if the child has trouble breathing, continuous pain, and pressure on the chest, bluish lips or face, inability to stay awake, and severe abdominal pain.
While CDC is still researching the MIS-C complications in children and the relation with covid-19, it is advisable to make children practice basic preventive guidelines. Avoid sick people, maintain social distancing, practice proper hygiene, use face masks, cleaning and disinfecting exposed, and high-touch surfaces are some necessary measures that need to be followed.