Covid-19 can adversely affect hearts of children: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 06, 2020

The disquiet Children bear the brunt of the poor mental health of parents, strained finances and absence of recreation brought about by the lockdown. A representational image greenaperture   -

According to an analysis published in EClinicalMedicine, a journal of The Lancet, Covid-19 can damage children’s hearts to an extent that it may lead to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children (MIS-C).

The authors cautioned that some children may also need lifelong monitoring and interventions due to the impact.

According to Alvaro Moreira, MD, MSc, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, case studies also showed MIS-C can strike even healthy children without warning three or four weeks after asymptomatic infections.

Dr Moreira said in a statement: “According to the literature, children did not need to exhibit the classic upper respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 to develop MIS-C, which is frightening.”

“Children might have no symptoms, no one knew they had the disease, and a few weeks later, they may develop this exaggerated inflammation in the body,” Moreira added.

The team reviewed 662 MIS-C cases reported worldwide between January 1 and July 25.

The team reported that 71 per cent of the children were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). 60 per cent were presented with shock.

While 100 per cent had a fever, 73.7 per cent had abdominal pain or diarrhoea, and 68.3 per cent suffered vomiting.

The research team also noted that 90 per cent had an echocardiogram (EKG) test and 54 per cent of the results were abnormal. 22.2 per cent of the children required mechanical ventilation. 4.4 per cent required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). And, 11 children died.

“This is a new childhood disease that is believed to be associated with SARS-CoV-2,” Dr Moreira added.

“It can be lethal because it affects multiple organ systems. Whether it be the heart and the lungs, the gastrointestinal system or the neurologic system, it has so many different faces that initially it was challenging for clinicians to understand.”

The researchers mentioned that the amount of inflammation in MIS-C surpasses two similar pediatric conditions, Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

“The saving grace is that treating these patients with therapies commonly used for Kawasaki – immunoglobulin and glucocorticosteroids – can be effective,” Dr Moreira said.

Published on September 06, 2020

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