‘Disturbing trend’ as four children hospitalised with severe symptoms of COVID-19
Health professionals are treating four young children who have been hospitalised after they were infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19 and they begun displaying the more severe symptoms associated with the disease.
This is according to Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, who spoke during his daily COVID-19 update on Friday.
The Health Minister related that since March last year, only about 1,567 cases out of the more that 20,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections have been children aged zero to 14 years.
In his breakdown of the figures, he said that 287 children (including 148 boys and 139 girls) aged zero to four years old, were infected, 524 children (273 boys and 251 girls) between the ages of five to nine were infected, while 756 children (342 boys and 414 girls) were infected with COVID-19.
“We do have children who get COVID-19 and a lot of times it is discovered accidentally because children would generally have very mild symptoms of COVID-19,” the Minister said.
In a few instances, however, he said that complications would be recorded among those children who were infected. The News Room reported on 11-year-old cancer patient who died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on November 6, but was later classified as a COVID-19 death and a 17-year-old schoolboy, identified as “Jafar”, who passed away after he was infected with COVID-19.
“While most of the cases (in children) so far have really been mild, over the last two weeks or so we have seen a disturbing trend and right now in our hospitals, we have four children who have been severely infected by COVID,” the Minister highlighted on Friday morning.
He later explained that three of these children were at the National Infectious Diseases Hospital, commonly known as the ‘COVID hospital’, at Liliendaal, Georgetown. The fourth child, he said, would be admitted to that hospital shortly.
And, he assured members of the public that healthcare professionals are working to provide the best care for these children.
During his update, he also urged that people pay attention to how children can become infected with COVID-19 since more severe forms of the disease is being recorded among children.
Importantly, he highlighted that in other countries, a complication of COVID-19 in children has been Multiple System Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), which causes multiple organ failure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, this condition results in different body parts- including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs- becoming inflamed.
“MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care,” the CDC stated.
While noting that this has not been seen in Guyana, he urged parents and caregivers to ensure that the COVID-19 safety measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent sanitisation are adhered to.
These measures are particularly important, according to the Health Minister, since COVID-19 vaccines have not been approved for use in children in Guyana as yet.