Head of the Paediatric Emergency Department at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Dr Joanne Paul, is warning parents of a spike in cases of the Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
MIS-C is a condition seen in children exposed to adults with COVID-19.
Children affected can show signs of different body parts becoming inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.
Symptoms include fever, abdominal (gut) pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired.
Dr Paul, speaking at Monday’s Ministry of Health media briefing, said “For the next couple weeks, I’d like to warn parents and guardians to have a high awareness for any signs of MIS-C. We’re looking at early aggressive treatment to make sure we take care of children with MIS-C.”
She added “MIS-C usually comes up maybe about for up to six weeks after the adult surge of COVID-19. We’ve seen a [COVID-19] surge in May so we’re expecting in late June, early July there may be a possibility of some increased cases.”
However, she said it’s possible for children to test negative for COVID-19 as the condition occurs afterwards as an immune response to the virus.
“In children who are infected with COVID-19, most of the cases are very mild or asymptomatic. This means they’re able to transmit less virus particles and therefore are less infectious…although less infectious they can be asymptomatic and spread the virus to persons at risk.”
She said “The first thing they would have is diarrhoea, vomiting…in terms of the heart, they would have a high heart rate or pulse, they might be a bit lethargic, they might look a bit pale or ‘dusky’. In addition, they might seem a bit confused or drowsy, not quite themselves.”
Dr Paul said that as of today, the Ministry has reported 40 cases of MIS-C in the country, 25 that are PCR positive, and 15 that are PCR negative. There have been no reported deaths as a result of MIS-C.