Severe cases of COVID-19 in children are rare. However, that does not mean that the little ones are immune to life-threatening complications. It seems that an emerging inflammatory syndrome is connected to this virus – the one that has placed the world into lockdown.
In New York, there are 93 children with a syndrome, which is called Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome. It has been revealed that the syndrome is related to COVID-19. Of those 93, three of them have died, and two other deaths are being investigated.
Doctors also say that there are kids who have the syndrome (that occurs four to six weeks after the infection) in some European countries, as well.
What are the symptoms of the illness?
Symptoms of this illness include high fever, low blood pressure, and abdominal pain. It looks a lot like other inflammatory conditions in kids, like toxic shock syndromes and Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation in the blood vessels.
But severe illness has not been frequent in children with COVID-19. According to a study, in which researchers took a look at 45 pediatric intensive care units, 48 children with COVID-19 were admitted for intensive care. They were between 4 to 16 years old, and they became very sick. 35 of them had respiratory symptoms, and 18 needed ventilation. 17 were critically ill, and they also developed respiratory failure. 40 of them had underlying medical conditions, such as obesity or cancer.
Until the 10th of April, 2 of them died, and 15 were still in the hospital. The mortality – of 5% – is still much lower than the mortality of the adults in the intensive care unit – of 50% to 62%.
According to Jeffrey Burns, who is a pediatric critical care specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital, “COVID-19 producing critical illness in children remains very infrequent compared to adults up to this point in the pandemic.”