Trinidad and Tobago currently has 29 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) in the Caribbean.
This is the highest number in the region.
Speaking on Saturday at the Ministry of Health’s media briefing, Dr Joanne Paul, head of the Paediatric Emergency Department at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, said she suspects this is due to the fact that TT had a covid19 surge before other Caribbean islands.
She added “The paediatricians have been much more aggressive and much more aware so we haven’t been under-diagnosing. We have been picking (MIS-C) up really, really quickly.”
“But I think it’s only temporary. By the end of this year, maybe even half way through, Jamaica will have increased cases and so will Bahamas and also Barbados.”
MIS-C occurs in mostly Afro and mixed children, four to six weeks after a Covid19 infection.
Dr Paul said parents and guardians needed to be aware and look out for symptoms such as fever for about five days, persistent diarrhoea, rash, as well as brain and heart effects. If a child had these symptoms, she advised parents to go to the doctor and say they believe the child has MIS-C, ask for blood tests to see if the child’s organs were affected, as well as a Covid19 PCR test and anti-body tests.
Effects last from three to six months in children and treatment included steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), antibiotics, and aspirin.
She said of the 29 cases of MIS-C locally, three had Covid19 at the time of testing and 18 were positive for Covid19 antibodies so they had covid19 at some point. Three were in the intensive care unit and the others had moderate illness but there were no deaths. There was no one in hospital with MIS-C as of Saturday.