Covid-19: Fatal secondary disease has been identified in children

While in most cases, COVID-19 is harmless in most children, the NHS has warned about a post-COVID disease—Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome—which is fatal in some cases.

Although the majority of people recovering from a coronavirus infection won't experience any long-term symptoms, the NHS has warned about a small pool of children and young adults developing Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, more commonly referred to as PIMS. The first signs of the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children appear two to six weeks after the corona infection and can be devastating.

One in 1,000 children affected

Susanne Greber-Platzer, head of Vienna's MedUni Children's Hospital, explains to Today why a survived corona infection can still leave a great deal of damage in children:

An excessive inflammatory cascade triggered by what may only be a trivial corona infection leads to hyper-inflammation in the body. Inflammation ensues, damaging the kidneys, liver and especially the heart.

Symptoms of PIMS

GOSH occupational therapist, Tracy Connolly describes which symptoms can be observed in children suffering from Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome:

  • 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

If you notice these signs in your children, you should go to the hospital as soon as possible. If the disease is diagnosed in time, it can be treated well, and in most cases no secondary damage is to be expected. However, if the syndrome is not treated quickly enough, it can lead to death in the worst case.

Vaccination as a solution

According to Ehringer-Schetitska, the COVID vaccine is the best protection against the syndrome and offers many advantages for children:

The best protection against this secondary disease of Covid-19 remains vaccination. Those who cannot be vaccinated or for whom there is no vaccine approval yet, depend on the greatest possible vaccination coverage of their environment.
COVID-19: Clinically vulnerable children between 12 & 15 to be given vaccines COVID-19: Clinically vulnerable children between 12 & 15 to be given vaccines