Updated: May 9, 2021 1:20:08 pm
With the Maharashtra government setting up a paediatric Covid task force to deal with cases of Covid among children, dedicated paediatric Covid units have been set up in Pune.
Dr Jitendra Oswal, deputy medical superintendent at Bharati hospital, said that apart from a paediatrician manning the unit, the hospital also had its Covid delivery facility and a unit for RT-PCR and antigen tests for newborns and even 18 year olds.
There is a dedicated six bedded Covid PICU and NICU with ventilators apart from a team of experts for management of post-Covid Inflammatory syndrome among children.
A nine-member State task force has recommended setting up fever clinics with paediatricians or trained staff to screen children with Covid symptoms. Usually children suffer diarrhoea, loss of appetite and fever as common signs of Covid-19, unlike adults who suffer weakness, body pain, fever, loss of smell and taste, experts said.
According to Dr Oswal when Pune was its peak on April 8 with more than 7000 cases, at least 7 per cent – 8 per cent of Covid positive cases were children.
“Now we should be vigilant of post-Covid inflammatory syndrome among children, a rare but serious condition which typically presents after 4-6 weeks of Covid peak…,” Dr Oswal said.
According to reports, of 48.93 lakh Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, 10 per cent cases have been reported among under-20 years of age.
“Even if we consider 0.1% will have inflammatory syndrome then we will have 489 children in Maharashtra alone. Most paediatricians are not aware of diagnosis and treatment of this condition. We have treated around 31 children with inflammatory syndrome,” he said, adding that they needed medicines like IV immunoglobulin plus Methylprednisolone in most cases and Tocilizumab in few cases.
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