Mumbai, June 29:
While Maharashtra is in the grip of coronavirus, the tension of authorities has increased with some of the Mumbai hospitals noticing symptoms of disease like “Kawasaki’ among children admitted for COVID-19 treatment.
Kawasaki disease, whose cause remains unknown, mainly affects children aged below five years. It results in high-grade fever and inflammation in blood vessels and can sometimes cause permanent damage to coronary arteries. However health authorities have noticed that even children between 10-14 years with COVID-19 are also showing its symptoms.
One such patient, a 14-year-old girl, was brought to a private hospital in Mumbai last last week, with “rashes and high fever”, two classic Kawasaki symptoms. She subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred to ICU on Friday night after her condition worsened. Doctors, who have put her on a high dose of steroids, believe she got coronavirus from her father, who had tested positive earlier. His ELISA test showed that he had developed antibodies against COVID-19.
Dr Tanu Singhal, a paediatric infectious diseases expert at the hospital, said that the above teenage girl, had high white blood cell count (indicating an infection) and low blood pressure. Since she came early we were able to stabilise her for two days, but her condition deteriorated again.
Children mostly develop the Kawasaki-like symptoms two-three weeks after a COVID-19 infection. It is not Kawasaki disease, but similar to it, Dr. Singhal said and added that the Kawasaki patients also exhibit red tongue and eyes. She said she had seen two similar cases in Mumbai, one at the SRCC (Society for Rehabilitation of Crippled Children) Hospital, Mahalaxmi in South Mumbai and another at a private hospital in Jogeshwari in North West Mumbai. Both had inflammation, fever and rashes and both were negative for Covid-19.
CEO of Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital Dr Minnie Bodhanwala also said they had started recording cases of Covid-19 along with symptoms of Kawasaki.
Similarly Dr Mukesh Sharma, head of the paediatric department at KEM Hospital, said they had seen symptoms of Kawasaki surface more than three weeks after COVID-19 infection. Kawasaki disease is an “immunological reaction” to a virus. We cannot be sure if coronavirus is directly responsible for it. In children it is possible that the signs emerge as a response of the immunity system.
Of Maharashtra’s 14,474 under-20 Covid-19 cases, 5,103 are under 10 years, and 9,371 between the ages of 11 and 20. In the meanwhile records show that the US, UK, Spain, Italy and China have been reporting cases of children with Covid-19 showing Kawasaki-like symptoms since April.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]