Updated: June 4, 2021 11:51:08 am
Even as Maharashtra and Pune paediatric Covid task force experts are in preparedness mode, members said it was important to notify each case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which is likely to be made a notifiable disease.
In a letter on June 2, Dr Sunil Kumar, director general, health services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has written to state health directors to focus on MIS-C and identify secondary/tertiary care institutes that have expertise and facilities required for its management.
“This is a serious complication in Covid-19 patients. As this is a condition not being routinely reported through the integrated disease surveillance portal (IDSP) or any other portal, I also request you to kindly share the weekly incidence (new cases) of MIS-C reported in the state/UT,” Dr Kumar has written.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.
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Children with MIS-C may have a fever and symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling more tired than usual. The CDC said while cause behind MIS-C is not known, many children with the condition had the virus that causes Covid-19.
Dr Sanjay Natu, president of Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), Pune branch, and member of the Covid task force in the city, said there was a slight rise in the number of cases in the last fortnight at different hospitals. “We are planning a local registry in the city,” he said.
According to Dr Aarti Kinikar, chairperson of Pune Covid paediatric task force, collating data on these cases was a vital step. “Unless it becomes compulsory to report, there will not be adequate data on these MIS-C cases,” she said. At Sassoon General Hospital, for instance, seven to eight critical MIS-C cases had been reported in last 15 days, the expert added.
Dr Jitendra Oswal, deputy medical director at Bharati hospital, said parents needed to exercise caution but not be unduly scared. Most affected children got a mild disease with fever and needed supervised home care with monitoring, according to IAP guidelines.
The condition is treatable with a good outcome. Some cases may be severe and are seen after two to six weeks of asymptomatic or symptomatic Covid-19. “However, we have to remain alert and look out for warning signs,” Dr Oswal added.
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