Research on the syndrome has shown that it occurs in seemingly healthy children without warning about three to four weeks after they have been infected without symptoms, says neonatologist Alvaro Moreira, who participated in the study.
“According to the literature, children may not develop the classic symptoms of covid-19 associated with the upper respiratory tract, and yet they develop MIS-C,” the researcher found. “It’s scary. The children may not have had any symptoms, no one even knows they had the disease ̵
The research study involved 662 cases of inflammatory multisystem syndrome, which were reported from around the world between 1 January and 25 July. The researchers found that:
- 71 percent of the children with the syndrome were admitted to intensive care units
- They spent an average of 7.9 days in the hospital
- 100 percent had a fever, 73.7 percent had abdominal pain or diarrhea and 68.3 percent vomited
- 90 percent underwent an echocardiography test and 54 percent were abnormal
- 22.2 percent of children needed artificial lung ventilation in hospitals
- 4.4 percent demanded extracorporeal life support (ECMO)
- 11 children died
- Covid-19 was found in 532 of 628 children, which is 84.7 percent
“This is a new childhood disease that appears to be associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” said Moreira. “It can be fatal because it affects more organ systems. Whether it is the heart or the lungs, the digestive system or the neurological system, it has so many different faces that at first it was very difficult for doctors to understand,” the researcher described why such important research had lasted so long since the pandemic began.
The amount of inflammation in MIS-C is greater than in two other similar childhood diseases – Kawasaki disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome. “The only luck is that the usual therapies used in cases of Kawasaki disease help against him,” adds Moreira.
Heart changes in children
Most of the 662 cases examined had some cardiac output; for example, they showed an increase in the value of troponin, and therefore a large number of them were subjected to further echocardiographic examination.
It is a non-invasive method that can look deep into an organ by reflecting ultrasound waves. According to the results of this test, more than half of the children examined had some heart damage, usually similar to that seen in Kawasaki disease.
But almost 10 percent have also had a swelling in the heart cake – a group that researchers say will be most exposed to other health problems in the future.
“These children will require more intensive observations and ultrasound examinations to see if the problem will resolve on its own or live with it for the rest of its life,” says Moreira.
Who is most exposed to the disease
The researchers also looked at the risk factors associated with the development of this syndrome. They found that about half of the patients with MIS-C had some other health problems, most (about half of them) were overweight or obese. “It’s similar to adults – we also see that overweight patients have the worst course of the disease,” says Moreira.