Amid Covid, rare disease in kids raises concern

Watch out for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome symptoms: Docs 

Published: 06th August 2020 03:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th August 2020 03:11 AM   |  A+A-

Non-Covid patients and their family members wait for their appointments outside a private hospital in Malleswaram in Bengaluru, on Wednesday | Shriram BN

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Paediatricians in the city warn doctors and parents to watch out for symptoms associated with a rare Kawasaki-like illness called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome In Children (MIS-C) related to Covid-19. Such cases were earlier reported from Mumbai and Delhi, said Dr Sagar Bhattad, Consultant-Paediatric Immunology & Rheumatology, Aster CMI Hospital. He has conducted in-depth research into this syndrome.

During his research, Dr Bhattad found that three to four such cases have already been reported in Bengaluru in the last one week. Kawasaki disease is a syndrome of unknown cause that leads to fever and mainly affects children under the age of 5. It is a form of vasculitis where blood vessels become inflamed throughout the body. The fever typically lasts for more than five days and does not respond to usual medications.

But this disease is being reported among children between the age of 7 and 15, according to doctors.
As per Dr Bhattad’s findings, this disease has been on the surge among children since the end of April. He said that toxic shock syndrome, acute abdominal pain, fever + raised inflammatory parameters with rash are the most common symptoms. “Other viruses can also lead to this syndrome, but as we are in the middle of the pandemic, it is likely that the disease is related to Covid-19.

We still can’t say exactly they were infected with Kawasaki, but they had Kawasaki-like symptoms,” he said. Paediatricians said that these cases typically happen in children four weeks after the surge in adult Covid cases. As Bengaluru is witnessing a sudden surge of Covid-19 cases in adults, paediatricians expect that the cases of Kawasaki-like disease will increase in August. A similar trend was witnessed among the children in Delhi and Mumbai where the cases of Covid-19 increased drastically and led to a subsequent increase in the Kawasaki-like disease among children a month later.

According to Dr Sanjay Gururaj, paediatrician at SHRC Hospital in Jayanagar, “Though I haven’t seen any Covid-19-associated symptoms yet, I won’t be surprised if we start getting such cases soon.” Dr Chandrika Bhat, consultant in Paediatric Rheumatology at Rainbow Children’s Hospital Marathahalli, said, “The Kawasaki disease is an extremely rare one. But during the Covid times, we have been getting some patients with the disease. In July, we have seen 4 cases of children with Kawasaki disease showing signs of fever existing beyond five days, abdominal pain, redness in eye, strawberry-looking tongue.

When the patient was tested for Covid-19, however, the results were negative. But what we should understand is that taking a swab sample in children cannot be right as they keep moving and hence the results can show negative. According to paediatricians, most of the patients who have reported Kawasaki-like symptoms have recovered well.


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