A rare syndrome associated with Covid-19 that affects children has been the subject of studies in the medical community. In Minas Gerais, there are already 24 confirmed cases, 9 of them in Belo Horizonte.
“This syndrome is still poorly studied and many issues are still under investigation”, highlights infectologist Estêvão Urbano, who is part of the committee to confront Covid-19 in the capital.
- MG has received 66 notifications from children suspected of having a rare syndrome associated with Covid
The first cases of Pediatric Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome appeared in England in April. In Minas Gerais, notification of suspected cases became mandatory in late July. From there to here, 66 records were notified in the state.
Rare syndrome, probably caused by Covid-19, can lead to death
According to infectious disease specialist Estêvão Urbano, after an initial condition of Covid-19, often mild, weeks or months later, symptoms may appear in different parts of the body. The syndrome can attack, for example, the central nervous system, in which case the child may have psychosis and seizures. There may also be respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, cough and need for supplemental oxygen. The syndrome can still generate heart and kidney failure, in addition to skin lesions. Urbano points out that children do not always show all symptoms.
What is the relationship between the syndrome and Covid-19?
The relationship is one of the main points of study of the medical community. According to the infectologist, possibly the virus, when in contact with the child’s organism, even causing very mild symptoms, can start to trigger a disturbance in the immune system. Over the days and even months, this disorder becomes more intense until the moment the body’s own defenses start to ignite and attack the organs.
Is it already known which children diagnosed with Covid-19 will develop the syndrome?
No. According to Estevão Urbano, this is another fact that ignites the alert for the prevention of Covid-19. According to him, the scientific community has not yet managed to come up with a specific answer on the reasons that lead some children to develop the syndrome and others not. This is possibly linked to some genetic factor. But without solving this puzzle, it is not possible to adopt preventive therapeutic measures to avoid the syndrome.
What is the profile of the children?
According to the infectologist, the vast majority of children, worldwide, are Hispanic or black and over 5 years old, sometimes even teenagers. But in Minas, the numbers are a little different. In most cases, 54%, children are up to 4 years old.
According to Urbano, some recent studies point to the appearance of symptoms of the syndrome even in adults.
Why is it difficult to diagnose?
In addition to being a new and rare syndrome, there may be a long period of time between the diagnosis of Covid-19 and the onset of the syndrome. Often, the child may have had mild manifestations of the infection with the coronavirus, not even being tested.
In addition, according to the infectologist, the clinical picture is similar to that of two common syndromes in pediatrics: that of Kawasaki and that of toxic shock, which is caused by bacteria.
According to the doctor, even before diagnosis, early treatment should be started to cover all these syndromes, seeking to save the child.
Can the syndrome lead to death?
Yes. According to Urbano, the syndrome can be fatal. But he points out that, even in cases where there is no death, the symptoms can be quite severe, leading to admission to the ICU, which can last for several days.