We Thought Children Were Safe From Covid-19. What Fresh Hell is PMIS Afflicting Indian Kids?


We Thought Children Were Safe From Covid-19. What Fresh Hell is PMIS Afflicting Indian Kids?

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

Even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our healthcare system, doctors in Mumbai were perplexed to find symptoms of the recently-identified Kawasaki disease in a few patients, which has reportedly been causing a great deal of concern.

At least 18 out of 100 coronavirus-positive children, who were admitted to hospitals in Mumbai are now showing symptoms of the “Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome”. First discovered by Japanese doctor Tomisku Kawasaki, the syndrome is said to cause fever, skin rashes, red eyes and fatigue usually in children under the age of five.

The disease can also be fatal in some cases, NDTV reported. In Mumbai alone, at least two children have reportedly died after contracting the disease, raising grave concerns within the medical fraternity.

According to reports, one was diagnosed with both cancer and Covid-19 before they started showing symptoms, while another had symptoms for two weeks before they were admitted to the hospital and died within six hours of being placed on a ventilator.

Last month, The Indian Express reported that a 14-year-old girl showed symptoms of Kawasaki disease, after she was brought to the hospital with rashes and high fever. She later also tested positive for Covid-19, from which she later recovered.

But it isn’t just Mumbai. Since April, symptoms of the rare Kawasaki disease have been spotted in children in Chennai, Jaipur, Delhi and other parts of the world. In some cases, they’ve appeared in patients who have tested negative for coronavirus as well.

Delhi’s Children’s Hospital Kalawati Saran has reported six cases of children who tested positive for coronavirus, and have shown symptoms of the Kawasaki disease in the last couple of months alone. The disease affects about 5,000 children each year in the US.

“We need to watch this carefully and if you see symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. We are reporting such cases every alternate day and around 100 such children have been admitted to big government hospitals and Wadia Hospital,” a doctor told NDTV.

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a massive strain on our country’s healthcare system, as well as effectively ensuring that 2020 will go down as one of the worst years in recent history, one can only hope that it doesn’t get any worse than this.