KATHMANDU, Dec 26: A 13-year-old boy died of multi inflammatory syndrome at the Maharajgunj-based Kanti Hospital last week. The syndrome is developed in children two to four weeks after being infected with COVID-19, pediatricians say.
As COVID-19 cases were at peak a few weeks ago, the number of children suffering from multi inflammatory syndrome has increased in recent times. “In the case of the 13-year-old kid, his heart was not functioning properly, which resulted in death,” Dr Sumit Agrawal, a pediatrician at Kanti Hospital, told Republica.
The multi inflammatory syndrome in children (MISC) affects the vital organs such as heart, lungs, kidney, and liver, among others. “Though the syndrome is developed in very few children being affected with COVID-19, the complications are severe, and patients may die of the disease. So, children should be immediately rushed to hospital if they have breathing difficulties, fever for more than 24 hours, diarrhea, tiredness and vomiting, two weeks after being infected with COVID-19,” according to Dr Amrit Ghimire, a pediatrician at Grande International Hospital.
In some cases, MISC could result in permanent damage to vital organs or even death.
Dr Agrawal says that eight cases of MISC have been reported at Kanti Hospital in the last few weeks. “Of these cases, a 13-year-old died, while others are receiving treatment,” he said.
Pediatricians say that children might not have developed COVID-19 symptoms while being infected. “But after two-four weeks, some children develop the syndrome, which has serious complications,” they say.
Research has shown that MISC cases have been diagnosed in children and adolescents between the ages of 1 and 14 years, with an average age of 8 years.
The cases related to MISC are also reported in Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), among other hospitals outside the Kathmandu Valley.
As of Saturday, Nepal has recorded 1,819 deaths related to COVID-19, of which, deaths of those under 20 years old is relatively low. “Having said that the death rate is relatively low among children, children, if they develop MISC symptoms after two weeks of infection, have to be rushed to hospitals immediately,” said Dr Ghimire.