May 9, 2021 11:20:18 pm
SOME HOSPITALS in the city have already set up dedicated paediatric Covid-19 units, as Maharashtra sets up a task force to deal with cases of the viral infection in children.
Dr Jitendra Oswal, deputy medical superintendent at Bharati hospital, said apart from a paediatrician monitoring the unit, the hospital also had a Covid mother delivery facility and unit for RT-PCR and antigen tests for newborns to 18-year-olds.
Dr Oswal said there was a dedicated six-bed Covid paediatric intensive care unit and newborn intensive care unit with the facility of mechanical ventilation, apart from a team of experts for the management of post-Covid inflammatory syndrome in children.
A nine-member state task force has recommended setting up fever clinics with paediatricians or trained staff to screen children with symptoms of Covid-19. Usually, children suffer from diarrhoea, loss of appetite and fever as common signs of Covid-19, unlike adults who suffer from weakness, body ache, fever, loss of smell and taste, experts said.
From March 1 to May 8, 29 lakh new cases were reported in the state. Of this, at least 7 to 8 per cent positive cases were in children. “Even if we consider 0.1 per cent have inflammatory syndrome, then at least 290 children would be among those,” Dr Oswal said.
Dr Oswal also said there was a need to be vigilant about post-Covid inflammatory syndrome in children, a rare but serious condition that typically presents after four to six weeks of Covid peak.
“Most paediatricians are not aware of the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. We have treated around 31 children with inflammatory syndrome, which includes four children in the second wave,” he said, adding that they needed special medicines like intravenous immunoglobulin plus methylprednisolone in most cases and tocilizumab in some.
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