While jury is still out over Omicron-led wave affecting the children especially in the agegroup of under 5, the impact of the deadly disease continues even after recovery and that can have devastating implications in children.
A new study released by CDC shows how Covid-19 has led to increase in diabetes cases in children although it’s not clear whether the metabolic condition in these kids is temporary or chronic.
Cases of MISC in children peaked last year right after the second wave subsided where many children struggled with complications related to heart, lungs, vessels, brain, digestive system and eyes. Children also suffered from Long Covid and faced chronic complications even when some of them were asymptomatic during the infection.
It came as no surprise when many studies also found that Covid also played havoc with the mental health of children as there is an increase in cases of anxiety, grief, and mood disorders in kids post the infection apart from developmental disorders like neurocognition, speech, attention and movement.
Dr Charu Dutt Arora Consultant Physician and Infectious Disease Specialist Head, Ameri Health, Asian Hospital, Faridabad opens up on the post Covid health complications children can suffer.
1. Diabetes: A study revealed 2.6 times higher number of diabetes cases among children. There are metabolic and social reasons which lead to these changes in kids. The virus directly attacking the pancreatic cells, higher stress levels leading to insulin resistance and sedentary lifestyle during the pandemic are some of the major reasons. But it is still not clear if the diabetic changes are temporary or chronic.
Symptoms: Parents and school teachers should keep a track of children and their symptoms such as increased thirst, hunger, frequent urination, stomach pain, nausea, unintentional weight loss, fatigue and vomiting.
2. MISC: One of the rare but debilitating post Covid complication is Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MISC-S) in children. A constellation of signs and symptoms, MISC involves different organs such as heart, lungs, vessels, brain, digestive system and eyes.
Symptoms: Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, pain abdomen, redness in eyes, rash, joint pain, headache, dizziness and enlarged lymph nodes are some of the signs. Intravenous immunoglobulins and steroids are given to treat this rare disease.
3. Long Covid: Children, asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic children can have chronic complications due to Covid-19. These long haulers can have multiple issues.
Symptoms: Breathing difficulties, brain fogging, headache, joint or muscle pain, fever, heart palpitations, lightheadedness and stomach pain are some of the symptoms.
4. Mental health issues: Just like everyone, children and adolescents are facing the repercussions of the Covid pandemic. As per many studies done in various parts of the world, there is an increased incidence of anxiety, grief, social isolation, uncertainty and mood disorders in children post Covid. The pandemic fatigue and high levels of stress are major attributable factors behind this.
5. Developmental issues: Many children may experience subtle changes in neurocognition, speech, attention, movement and mood. Rarely, kids can develop swelling in their brain leading to encephalitis.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com