The return of most children to class encourages interactions between children, but even with a reduction in COVID-19 cases in the country, parents of children should be aware of the symptoms of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS), which is derived from the disease.
According to epidemiologists, the syndrome is not a concern when schools have very well-defined protocols to avoid contamination and when parents and children follow recommendations given by health agencies. “The incidence of the disease is low, but if it does occur, the treatment protocol is very effective when the diagnosis is early, avoiding complications,” says pediatric infectious disease specialist Victor Horácio de Souza Costa Júnior, deputy technical director of Pequeno Prince Hospital, in a statement.
The president of the scientific department of vaccinations of the Brazilian pediatric society, Renato Kfouri, also points out the rarity of the syndrome, but says that parents should be aware of all the signs of the disease.
How Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Occurs
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a post-COVID complication that usually happens two to six weeks following the acute onset of infection. It’s most common in boys and adolescents. “It should be noted that the Covid-19 occurs in a very individual way in children, it does not evolve in the same way in all, as it usually occurs in adults,” Costa Júnior said in a release. According to the WHO’s latest guidelines, certain underlying conditions make children more vulnerable to serious illnesses, such as obesity, chronic lung disease (including asthma), cardiovascular disease and immunosuppression.
“The diagnosis is a fever of more than three days, associated with two other symptoms, such as non-purulent conjunctivitis, tachycardia, rash (red spots) and changes in several organs such as the gastrointestinal systems, hematologic and cardiac,” Costa Junior says.
Shortness of breath and fatigue are also symptoms, Kfouri says. In order to come to a diagnosis, the child must have ad a recent positive antibody test or history of recent infection with COVI-19. “The RT-PCR test is not necessary because the syndrome is a late complication, so there is no more Covid-19 infection in force,” he said.
The treatment of multisystem inflammatory syndrome is usually carried out with a single high dose of immunoglobulins or corticosteroids.
Doctors stress the importance of COVID-19 vaccines to prevents SIM and other long-term COVID symptoms. “Vaccines protect not only against Covid-19, but also against its complications, such as SIM and long-term Covid, which has reached children and adolescents,” Kfouri said.