Swollen fingers and severe seizures. Children suffer from lesser-known problems after covid

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Little Julia was fifteen months old when covid-19 was confirmed. Symptoms were initially mild, mild with a cold and fever.

“But she was pointing her head a lot and sometimes she had crazy crying fits. At one point she looked supposedly stupid and fell to the ground. I immediately ran towards her, I picked up and she hardly answered. The husband called an ambulance, ”describes Ms Lucie from Prague for the List of Reports.

The girl was treated by medics but had another seizure in hospital – similar to patients with epilepsy – and was transferred to pediatric neurology at Thomayer University Hospital.

“In Krč, blood samples, CT examinations and lumbar punctures were waiting for her daughter that evening. The day after EEG (examination of brain activities, editor’s note). According to the results, it was an epidepsy caused by the covid”, adds the mother of a small patient. For a few weeks after the attack, the little girl struggled to walk, and according to her mother, it took her “she was back again”. Her parents must continue to watch her, especially if she falls ill. “So I’m still on thorns,” adds Ms. Lucie.

Although similar neurological problems in children linked to covid are not so often publicly reported, a number of studies have already been carried out abroad. One of the retrospective works of American scientists even notes that this is not an entirely rare case. “Seizures, including longer seizures, may occur without prior fever in children who have never had epilepsy before and may not be associated with more severe covid,” experts said.

400 children in critical condition

As for the impact of covid on the health of children, according to the data, most little patients overcome it without symptoms or with mild health problems, such as a cold, cough or fever. However, doctors also warn that even children should not avoid serious problems.

The most common is the rare covid-19-associated multisystem inflammatory response syndrome (PIMS-TS). “Since the start of the pandemic in the Czech Republic, we have registered more than 400 cases,” says Dr Jan David from the pediatric clinic at Motol University Hospital.

Warning signs

PIMS-TS usually manifests primarily as a persistent, high fever (greater than 38.5°C) and rash. “In young children, there are often manifestations on the mucous membranes – red throat, cracked lips – and enlargement of the cervical lymph nodes”, described the doctor for the News List. Pavla Doležalova. Other symptoms include conjunctivitis, redness on the soles of the feet or palms. Older children (schoolchildren and teenagers), on the other hand, are more likely to have abdominal pain and other digestive problems. Headaches, muscles and joints.

The syndrome occurs two to three weeks after infection and is based on a delayed immune response in infected children, which leads to inflammation of blood vessels and can lead to multiple organ failure.

According to the doctor, only a few patients with PIMS-TS have developed neurological problems, such as paralysis. Most children recover from the disease within a few weeks. However, the process requires, for example, a reduction in physical activity or a reduction in contact to prevent infection with another infection.

Covid fingers

However, doctors say their parents are also turning to them with other issues children are reporting post-covidid. For example, some suffer from unusual and severe fatigue. Others have problems with painful swelling of joints and limbs or the formation of so-called covid fingers.

“On the fourth day of the covis there was swelling in the big toe and sharp pain even in rest mode, she could not stand up,” she describes the health problems of her 11-year-old daughter, Kateřina, Ms. .Tereza.

The evolution of the covid itself was common in a girl: two-day fever, joint and muscle pain, fatigue. Thumb swelling issues subsided after about a week, but pain returns to all fingers with increased activity.

“Even after running in the gym, she also had purple toes. Joint pain also appeared on her hands. After exertion, such as throwing a ball, her daughter’s fingernails turned purple and joint pain was added. Everything stops after calming down Girl is active she ran orienteering in front of covid and goes to karate so body movement is not new as it is in many of his peers,” she adds.

After blood tests and a series of examinations, the doctor reported a clear link with covid, and the young girl is awaiting further consultations with specialists.

The description of the problem corresponds to a complication known as covid fingers. According to scientists, children and adolescents in particular suffer from rare skin manifestations. Yet it wasn’t until last fall that covid caused these problems.

The immune system’s response to infection is likely to blame. Antibodies mistakenly target and react to their own cells and tissues, much like they attack a virus. The process can then affect the fingers.

However, it is still not entirely clear how to deal with the problem. “Confirming the cause (the covid finger) will help develop a new treatment that can manage it effectively,” Britain’s Ivan Bristow said at the time.

The possibility of serious or long-term problems after covid had previously become a reason professional pediatric societies recommended vaccinating children. In the Czech Republic, for example, many children have not yet used it. This is shown by data from the Ministry of Health.

In the youngest age group of five to 11 years, for which the vaccine is available, fewer than 55,000 children have been vaccinated with at least one dose. The vaccination rate is therefore about 7% in this group. It is slightly higher in the 12 to 15 year old category. Nearly 224,000 children and adolescents, or about 49% of people in this age group, receive at least one dose.

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