8 de diciembre de 2021

Children also develop after-effects of COVID-19, expert warns

Disorders of adaptation, sleep, arrhythmias, hypertension, neurological and behavioral alterations are some of the sequels that are evidenced in COVID-19 convalescents in pediatric ages, said Dr. Lissette del Rosario Lopez Gonzalez, head of the Cuban national group of pediatrics of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP by its Spanish acronym).

Although the disease is usually asymptomatic or with very mild symptoms, they can still have these manifestations once they have recovered, told ACN, who is also a specialist in pediatric intensive care medicine.

She explained that as in adults, in infants COVID-19 is not a purely respiratory disease and a significant number of patients, who have even reached severity, had digestive disorders, such as vomiting, diarrhea and, to a lesser extent, abdominal pain.

They may also present neurological signs, so if the mother detects changes in the child’s behavior, if the child is drooping, has fever, headache, appetite, taste or smell loss, it is necessary to rule out a possible SARS-CoV-2 infection, the specilaist added.

Similarly, said Lopez Gonzalez, some patients had heart rhythm disorders and high blood pressure; while more frequently several were positive after showing nasal obstruction, secretion, sore throat, otitis and respiratory difficulties that have led to pneumonia.

The pediatric age ranges from birth to 18 years old and the symptomatology depends on the age and their capacity to diagnose the symptoms, and in the case of infants it depends on the parents’ perception, the Cuban pediatrician warned.

She insisted that for the diagnosis of these patients, epidemiology should also be taken into account, that is, if they live in a transmission area, if they are contacts of suspected or positive cases, or if they have been exposed to crowds without complying with biosafety standards; therefore, at the slightest concern or question, the health system should be contacted in any of its forms.

Lopez Gonzalez stressed that children can indeed progress to severe forms of the disease and die; the fact of getting sick puts them at risk of reaching critical stages, especially if they have associated risk factors, comorbidities or are vulnerable.

Although the vast majority of this population is healthy, the doctor commented, there are children with diabetes, heart disease, asthma, epilepsy, oncological lesions, hematological diseases or immunodeficiencies; and when they acquire COVID-19, the danger is much greater.

In Cuba, the incidence of cases has remained between 10 and 12 %, but in 2021 it increased, and in the last month we have an average of around 100 children per day, alarming figures, MINSAP’s official concluded.

(Taken from ACN)

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