Multisystem inflammatory syndrome MIS-C is a rare condition that mainly affects children between three and twelve. However, the disease has also been reported in babies and teens. At the moment, there is no scientific proof that the condition can spread from person to person. The only observation that has been made is that your child can have another contagious infection and multisystem inflammatory syndrome simultaneously. Read on to find out more about MIS-C treatment and what causes it.
What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children?
Pediatric MIS-C is a condition that seems to be a delayed complication of the COVID-19 infection. This disease has a variety of symptoms that affect several body organs. Many children display symptoms that resemble toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease. These are conditions where the coronary arteries enlarge, resulting in aneurysms.
Another common feature of the disease is heart inflammation. This leads to impaired heart function and low blood pressure. Your child might also have a rash or red eyes, together with several gastrointestinal symptoms. It is important to note that not all the symptoms will be present simultaneously. Instead, they might be present in different combinations.
If you suspect that your child might have multisystem inflammatory syndrome, you must immediately contact your healthcare provider. You can also take your child to a nearby Emergency Department. Doctors will then carry out several blood tests, depending on what symptoms your child is showing. Children with this condition need to be closely monitored by pediatric specialists in cardiology and critical care. Sometimes, it may also be recommended that they be kept closely watched by hematologists and infectious diseases specialists.
Are Children at High Risk for MIS-C?
At the moment, scientists are still collecting data on MIS-C. Fortunately, the condition seems to be relatively rare. Moreover, most children who get the condition usually recover to an excellent state of health.
The chances of recovery for children with MIS-C are greatly multiplied by careful observation and treatment. Therefore, the most important thing to note about this condition is that children with MIS-C should be hospitalized immediately. So far, the disease seems to have a very low mortality rate, as only a low percentage of children have passed away because of it.
What are the Symptoms of MIS-C?
The disease does not display a consistent pattern of symptoms. Instead, MIS-C symptoms will vary from child to child. The primary MIS-C symptoms are persistent fever and lethargy that last more than a day and are usually present for several days. Your child might also have red eyes and abdominal pain. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, or inappetence. It is important to note that the signs of MIS-C can go from bad to worse rather quickly. Hence, it is essential to seek medical attention if you see anything that might point to the condition.
MIS-C symptoms may include:
- Signs are associated with the skin and mucous membranes – a widespread rash, reddening of the eyes, swollen hands and feet, inflamed mucous membranes, and a swollen tongue.
- Heart problems and signs of shock – hypotension, cold skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, irregular heartbeat
- Gastrointestinal symptoms – abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Respiratory symptoms such – coughing and shortness of breath.
- Neurologic symptoms – headaches, pain in the neck, confusion, seizures.
What Causes MIS-C in Children?
Research into MIS-C is still being carried out. Currently, scientists do not fully understand what causes the condition. There are several theories available when it comes to the cause of MIS-C. Some scientists believe that it is caused by a delayed immune response to the coronavirus. It is suspected that after exposure to the coronavirus, the immune system somehow goes into overdrive. This reaction then leads to a severe inflammation that damages organs.
Some scientists also think that the antibodies created in response to infection by the coronavirus create the illness. Since the disease hasn’t affected many children, it is also possible that there may be some genetic factors at play. However, it is important to note that children generally handle coronavirus infection better than adults. Only a small proportion of children seem to come down with signs and symptoms of MIS-C. However, most of these children have fully recovered quickly.
Diagnosis of MIS-C in Children
Currently, diagnosis is based on MIS-C symptoms. If the doctor notices that your child has persistent fever and dysfunction of one or more organs, they might suspect MIS-C. Doctors can do several tests to check for signs of inflammation in the body.
Most children who develop MIS-C would have tested positive for coronavirus infection. Once a doctor makes a positive diagnosis of MIS-C, they will follow up with a collection of tests done to check the extent of inflammation, blood clots, liver function, and heart function. Doctors might also carry out an echocardiogram to assess the child’s heart and coronary arteries. Children who display heart complications might also undergo several other tests like cardiac MRI, Holter monitors, and exercise testing.
MIS-C Treatment in Children
Once a positive diagnosis for MIS-C is made, your child must begin MIS-C treatment. As such, they must be admitted to the hospital. Some might even be transferred to the intensive care unit for closely monitored MIS-C treatment. In addition, the child will be observed by pediatric specialists in rheumatology, critical care, and cardiology—these professionals will address different aspects of the child’s condition.
There are several MIS-C treatment methods available. These include the following:
- IV immunoglobulin – to address Kawasaki disease.
- Anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids
- Low dose aspirin to prevent blood from clotting
Several other treatments can be used for MIS-C depending on the symptoms displayed by the child. After the child has recovered and is discharged from the hospital, they will need to go for follow-ups. The doctor will carry out echocardiograms during these checkups to monitor the child’s heart and coronary arteries. These tests are done even if the child didn’t have severe problems in the hospital. Six months following recovery, the child will no longer need a close follow-up.
The best way to ensure your child doesn’t get MIS-C is to take precautions and keep everyone in your household from getting the virus that causes the COVID 19 disease. MIS-C is a relatively rare condition. However, if you suspect that your child might have it, it is essential to seek medical care instantly. In addition, if you have any questions about the condition, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our experts are well equipped to handle all your concerns and address any questions about the disease.