During the first wave, not many children were exposed to the virus, since the majority of them stayed indoors until it peaked. However, this year many children have got infected by the novel coronavirus. According to data available with the district health department, currently the district has about 1,455 active cases in the age group of 0-20.
Dr Rathika Shenoy, professor and HoD of paediatrics, Nitte (deemed to be university), told TOI that during the first wave, the district had reported about 25-30 cases of MIS-C. “We were quick to detect and diagnose MIS-C cases because of the knowledge gleaned from reports from abroad, and the awareness created by the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, we feel that we will see more cases in the present wave and future, because more children between 0-18 will not be vaccinated, and will get infected,” said Dr Rathika.
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She added that a majority of the children with Covid-19 are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, and parents chose to ignore it, believing that they are not infected by the virus. “There are instances where parents have Covid-19, but they still choose to ignore mild symptoms in children. There is a lot of denial and stigma about getting tested, especially when it comes to children,” she said.
However, children start to show symptoms after 3-4 weeks, after getting infected. Dr Anil Shetty, professor, paediatrics department, Fr Muller Medical College, says that the common MIS-C symptoms are rashes or bilateral non-purulent conjunctivitis or muco-cutaneous inflammation signs, fever, bloodshot eyes, neck pain, tiredness and others. “When a child comes with such symptoms, we immediately conduct an antibody test and other tests, which are positive if the child had Covid-19. There is medication available for the same,” he said.
Paediatricians have urged parents not to ignore Covid-19-like symptoms among children, and to take proper medical care.
MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.