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Ask the Doctor: Covid-19 Complication in Children, MIS-C

When it comes to the health and wellbeing of our children, our top priority is to ensure they grow up safe and healthy. But in light of the recent increase in Covid-19 cases among children below the age of 12 in Malaysia, we read about worrying reports of MIS-C, a rare and serious complication linked to children infected with Covid-19.

We speak to Dr Rakhee Yadav, our panel paediatrician to shed more light on this.

Q: What is MIS-C?

“Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C is a condition in children where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.” explained Dr Rakhee.

"174 children in Malaysia have reported experiencing MIS-C after being infected with Covid-19 between June 2020 to December 2021. 38 cases were between ages 1 to 5, 36 cases were between ages 9 to 12, 25 cases in children below a year old, and 11 cases were of those age 12 and above," she added.

Q: Who is at risk of developing MIS-C?

“In children who have a known history of documented or suspected COVID-19, the usual duration between acute infection and onset of MIS-C symptoms is two to six weeks,” explained Dr Rakhee.

She added that there are rare cases of MIS-C which occur more than six weeks after the rapid onset of Covid-19 infection.

“In many cases, the duration of time between sudden Covid-19 infection and onset of MIS-C symptoms is unknown because the child was asymptomatic at the time of acute infection.

Q: What are the symptoms parents should look out for in their children?

Symptoms that may indicate MIS-C include:

  • persistent fever that last between four to six days

  • abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea

  • rash

  • conjunctivitis

  • red or swollen lips, and swollen, bumpy tongue

  • headache, lethargy, confusion

  • sore throat

  • muscle aches and pains

  • swollen hands or feet

  • swollen or enlarged lymph nodes

“If your child is showing signs of troubled breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, inability to wake or stay awake, and pale, grey, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, seek emergency medical care immediately,” urged Dr Rakhee.

Q: Can MIS-C be treated?

“Yes, MIS-C can be treated if detected early. Without early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, MIS-C can lead to severe problems with vital organs, such as the heart, lungs or kidneys. In rare cases, MIS-C could result in permanent damage or even death,” said Dr Rakhee.

She added that there is no specific treatment for MIS-C. Children are treated symptomatically and on some occasions require high dose steroid therapy.

Q: What are some precautions parents can take to guard against MIS-C?

"For children age five and above, parents should register them via MySejahtera for the Covid-19 vaccine. Recent studies have also shown that vaccines help reduce the incidence of MIS-C in children infected with Covid-19."

“Of course not to mention the importance of maintaining SOPs such as avoiding crowds, wearing a properly fitted mask, and washing hands regularly are key to battling Covid-19," explained Dr Rakhee.

If your little one is exhibiting any of the above mentioned, you can consult our medical experts within minutes via the DA app. We deliver medication across major cities in Malaysia in 3 hours, delivery is free.


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