Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is now a notifiable condition in SA

Kids have largely been spared the worst of Covid-19, but healthcare workers have now been instructed to be on the lookout for symptoms of a mysterious new disease that affects them.

The condition, known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), has struck hundreds of children around the world since it was first picked up earlier this year, and more recently in South Africa.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), it’s a condition where various parts of the body become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

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What are the symptoms of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome?

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Neck pain
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling extra tired.

“We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19,” the NICD said in a statement this week.

According to experts from the NICD, the condition can be serious, even deadly, but most children who have been diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.

They have warned that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, they expect to see more MIS-C cases cropping up over the next few months throughout the country.

Healthcare workers have been asked to notify authorities immediately if they suspect any of their young patients are showing signs or symptoms of the syndrome. A group of paediatricians and other experts have also been established to collect and analyse data on MIS-C cases to help inform the NICD on the management of this new condition in South Africa.

What to do

Moms, if your child displays any of the above symptoms after having had COVID-19, take him to your doctor immediately.

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