New Delhi: Doctors in the country said they have recorded a new paediatric illness linked to COVID-19 that has “profound” impact on children’s immunity.
The new condition observed in COVID-19-affected children is known as paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS-TS) as well as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
It is known to result in multi-organ dysfunction and inflammatory responses in the body, and can reportedly lead to heart damage.
“Yes, there are a few cases (of PIMS-TS) in India. They are not published yet, I think, but we have been hearing about it in personal communications with other doctors,” Dr NK Arora, former professor of paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at AIIMS, told The Print.
The doctor further said PIMS-TS appears similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare paediatric inflammatory condition, but is actually quite different.
“Usually, it is after the child tests COVID-negative that these symptoms appear. Initially, people thought it was Kawasaki disease, but then they found it was not exactly the same,” he said.
Asked whether the symptoms are reversible, he said, “COVID-19 is a very young disease. Therefore, right now this is a hypothetical question.”
In a related development, UK-based researchers claimed to have decoded the impact of PIMS-TS on children.
The researchers from King’s College London and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital studied 25 children with a median age of 12.5 years, most of whom had already recovered from severe COVID-19. The children showed gastrointestinal symptoms and problems in the coronary artery (the blood vessel supplying the heart muscle).
The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine on Tuesday. The findings are significant because they may help guide the medical response to COVID-19 cases among children.