Rare infectious disease on the rise among children due to COVID-19
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Rare infectious disease on the rise among children due to COVID-19

© Belga

Belgian pediatricians have noticed a marked increase in the number of cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) according to a report in the Standaard newspaper, confirmed on Friday to Belga news agency.

Paediatricians identify the syndrome, formerly known as Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) as a secondary effect of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). It presents many similarities with the Kawasaki disease, so it is treated in the same way. It can also be cured.

More people – and therefore more children – have been infected with COVID-19 during the second wave of the epidemic. The increased incidence of MIS-C is therefore not abnormal, but it casts a spotlight on this rare syndrome, which had gone unnoticed during the first wave.

Brussels University Hospital (UZ Brussel) reports that it is now admitting about one child per day with the infectious ailment. “During the first wave, we didn’t know it existed,” said UZ paediatrician Gerlant Van Berlaer, who is also an emergency doctor.

“It is therefore possible that we missed some cases that were diagnosed differently,” he added, “but now all the paediatricians are aware of it.”

The recognisable symptoms of PIMS are fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, swollen hands and feet, skin rashes, cramping, confusion and even breathlessness if the heart is affected.

PIMS also causes various organ systems to become inflamed and, as a result, children fall ill once again even weeks after they recover from COVID-19 infections.

The Brussels Times