Experts explain to CNN Portugal that no cases of this multisystem syndrome related to Covid-19 have been found in children for several months, a disease that, they warn, can be fatal.
Characteristics of the vaccine and omikron type against Covid-19 led to an increase in cases during MIS-C in Portugal, multisystemic inflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 in young children, and the spread of delta. Pulmonology and pediatricians assure CNN Portugal that despite a modest increase in infection during the sixth wave, no serious cases of the disease have been found in hospitals for several weeks.
Maria Joao Baptista, president of the Portuguese Society of Pediatric and Medical Cardiology at the Centro Hospitalar de Sao Joo, says there has been a “clear decline” in MIS-C cases in recent months, and that her unit “has not had a case for several weeks.” “Slowly” and completely different from what happened in the year 33 children with the syndrome were hospitalized, nine of whom were in the intensive care unit.
Whenever there is a new peak of infection by Covid-19, “there is usually an increase in cases of MIS-C”, however, Maria Joao Baptista notes, “there is an increase in cases of Covid-19. It did not occur in the case of MIS-C. “
This situation is in line with a recent study in Denmark, which was published on June 8 in the scientific journal JAMA Pediatrics. This explains why the risk of a child with MIS-C after an Ómicron-type infection is “significantly lower” than that of other strains, such as Delta, and the risk of developing multisystem syndrome is “significantly lower in children”. . And comparison of vaccinated adolescents who were not vaccinated.
“This is a great strength of the study,” says Manuel Magalhes, a pediatric pulmonologist at Centro Materno Infantile do Norte and Hospital Lucidas do Porto, who did not even report MIS-C cases for “several weeks.” For doctors, the work done in Denmark “clearly shows that the vaccine MIS-C, protects a lot from the most serious diseases that exist”. “These studies show that those who have been vaccinated have ten times more protection than those without MIS-C,” he emphasizes.
On the other hand, studies have also shown that Omicron produces ten times less cases of MIS-C in unvaccinated children. This is because, as Maria Joao Baptista explains, there is “less aggression on the part of the system”, which is “less able to trigger an excellent inflammatory response”.
Reduces the risk of re-infection
Doctors also emphasize that the risk of MIS-C in a child during a re-infection of Covid-19 is very low, because, “If a child has a new infection, previous exposure to the virus weakens the immune system. Reduces the chances of developing memory and syndrome. “
In addition to the features of the Ómicron and vaccination campaigns, there are other reasons for the slowdown in MIS-C in the country, says Dr. Manuel Magalhes, pointing to the development of natural immunity and the “seasonal differences between environmental factors”. Such as temperature, sunlight and humidity which affect the spread of SARS-CoV-2 ”.
Nevertheless, Maria Joao Baptista and Manuel Magalhes both guarantee that the possibility of an increase in MIS-C cases should be taken into account, since only one case is “very serious,” say Centro Materno’s doctors. Infants in the North, and being able to produce “long-term consequences for children we do not yet fully know.”
Maria Joao Baptista also recalls that MIS-C is a disease characterized by inflammation of various organs “including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes and gastrointestinal tract”, which appears in children and adolescents. To SARS. -CoV-2. In the absence of recurrent illness, the president of the Portuguese Society of Pediatric Cardiology adds, “Covid-19 affects less than 1% of infected children”, which can be very serious and even fatal. “The literature tells us that up to 70% of children with MIS-C may require intensive care, with mortality rates ranging from 1 to 2%,” says Maria Joe Baptista.