Warning to parents over new Covid complication that affects kids over 5

PARENTS with children over the age of five have been warned they could be at risk of a serious complication from Covid-19.

Most children who catch coronavirus will recover with no issues.

Children who are diagnosed with paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome will usually present with a high temperatureCredit: Getty

But a new study has found that older children and those with high blood markers for inflammation (ferritin) were at highest risk of severe multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

In the UK the condition is mainly known as Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS).

It’s a very rare condition, occurring in less than 1 per cent of kids who pick up Covid.

Most children with the condition will have a persistent fever – which can sometimes be mistaken for other illnesses.

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Experts in Canada found children over five are at a higher risk of being admitted to intensive care when catching Covid and developing the inflammatory syndrome.

Medics looked at 232 kids under the of 18 that had been admitted to hospital across Canada, Costa Rica and Iran.

These children had been admitted to hospital with suspected PIMS between March 2020 and March 2021.

Of those children, the experts found that 89 per cent of them had gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain and around 85 per cent had dermatological problems like rashes and swelling.

Symptoms of PIMS

The main symptom of PIMS, according to Great Ormond Street Hospital, is:

  • a high temperature that lasts for a few days.

Your child might also have other symptoms such as:

  • A rash
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Tummy pain or cramps
  • Red and cracked lips
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Peeling skin on your hands and feet
  • Headache
  • Red eyes
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Unexplained irritability

These symptoms are different to the coronavirus, which causes:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Fatigue, a headache, sore throat and loss of appetite are also common in children with Covid, according to the Zoe COVID Symptom Study app

Children between the ages of six and 12 had a 44 per cent chance of being admitted to intensive care, which was 46 per cent higher than children aged under the age of five.

The authors of the study said more needs to be done when it comes to clinical care of children presenting with the illness.

Dr. Joan Robinson, a pediatrician at the University of Alberta said: “Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is a new diagnosis, with differing diagnostic criteria that have not been validated.

“Most of these children lacked a history of contact with a person with proven SARS-CoV-2 infection.

“Identifying exposure can be difficult as infected contacts may be asymptomatic or may never have been tested.”

In most cases, the bug has hit otherwise healthy children around six weeks after they tested positive for Covid-19.

GPs in the UK were first urged to be on the lookout for a new “inflammatory syndrome” linked to coronavirus which has similar symptoms to Kawasaki disease back in April 2020.

Symptoms can include a prolonged fever, tummy ache, diarrhoea, vomiting, widespread red rash, red bloodshot eyes, strawberry red tongue and red cracked lips.

Others include swelling of fingers and toes or not feeling or acting like themselves.

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Thousands of parents previously clubbed together online to raise awareness in the public and medics, after claiming their children were not accurately diagnosed.

The Covid-19 PIMS-TS support group was set up in October 2020, to help speed up diagnosis.

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