While daily coronavirus cases have slowly been dropping in the subcontinent, India has been struggling with the rise of another rare disease—and this time it is attacking children.
Over 2000 children who have been recovering from COVID have now developed an inflammatory syndrome that has sent 70% of them into intensive care. This illness is known as the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and it predominantly affects those between the ages of 5 and 15.
What is MIS-C?
MIS-C is a condition in which various body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal organs, and skin, become severely inflamed. If it’s not treated at the right time it can even lead to heart, respiratory, and renal failure. Currently, there is very little information available about the disease and its causes, but there is enough evidence linking it to COVID-19. In fact, 98% of children who developed this rare syndrome have previously tested positive for COVID.
Diagnosis and treatment
Doctors say that best chances of treating the disease lies in early diagnosis.Dr. Krishan Chugh, director of paediatrics at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, said:
Its diagnosis requires a high level of suspicion on the part of the treating doctor and a confirmation by some laboratory tests. The problem of diagnosis is further compounded by the fact that there is an overlap of fever of this syndrome with that of common diseases of these summer months like malaria, dengue, viral infections, typhoid and Kawasaki disease.
Thus, laboratory testing as early as the second day of fever is advised.
Treatment for MIS-C depends on the intensity and severity of the condition, but doctors have been using steroids and antibiotics to reduce inflammation. Dr. Naveneet Sood from Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in Delhi told Indian Express:
For tests inflammatory markers are raised. For treatment purpose, several immunomodulator therapies including IVIg, steroids have been used with limited success.