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Spanish Version: https://www.covid19atf.org/blog/nuevo-sindrome-inflamatoria-en-ninos-posiblemente-conectado-a-covid-19
Many media organizations have been picking up on a new possible effect of COVID-19 almost exclusive to children: Novel Inflammatory Syndrome with gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiac inflammation.
Thus far, understanding of this novel syndrome is minimal because it is rare in children. From the cases seen so far, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health created a case definition that has been adopted by the AHA´s Heart Council as well as a few other organizations of the mysterious illness. In order to have it, one must present with persistent fever, elevated CRP (white blood cell count), and evidence of multiple organ dysfunction. This case definition excludes those with any other microbial cause of symptoms. Testing positive for COVID-19 is not required for a diagnosis because while having suspected relation to COVID-19, these symptoms are often so delayed for days to weeks so the children do not test positive for the virus without an antibody test.
When comparing these newer symptoms to those seen in adults there are some similarities with the long term effects. For example, a study in Wuhan yielded that 27% of COVID-19 patients had kidney failure. Another study in Wuhan found that 20% of all patients had some form of heart damage while 44% of ICU patients had heart damage. In addition, some people with COVID-19 reported gastrointestinal symptoms. While none of these studies found a direct link between the studied symptom and COVID-19 the percentages themselves show a correlation.
COVID-19 damages more than just the lungs: the heart and kidneys may be affected, and some people can show gastrointestinal symptoms. Combined, these studies of less common symptoms and long term effects of COVID-19 point a tentative finger at the correlation between the rise of cases of Novel Inflammatory Syndrome in children and the current pandemic plaguing us.
Written by Maddie Cowgill
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