Warning: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children now a notifiable condition in SA
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Cape Town – Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) – associated with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) – has been included in the notifiable medical conditions (NMC) in South Africa.
In a statement on Tuesday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said these are diseases that are of public health importance because they pose significant public health risks that may result in disease outbreaks or epidemics both nationally and internationally.
Although MIS-C is a rare syndrome, there are reports of MIS-C associated with Covid-19 globally and more recently in South Africa.
According to the NICD, it is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.
The symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes and feeling extra tired.
“We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes Covid-19 or had been around someone with Covid-19,” the NICD said.
’’MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.
“With the ongoing pandemic, we expect to see more MIS-C cases over the next few months throughout the country. Widespread awareness and early recognition is crucial.
“The healthcare worker responsible for the patient should notify authorities immediately of a probable or confirmed case through the through the Notifiable Medical Conditions Surveillance System (NMCSS).
“In addition, a group of paediatricians and other experts has been established to collate and analyse data on MIS-C cases reported through the NMCSS.
“The data will shed light on the true burden of MIS-C in the country, and to inform decisions on the clinical and epidemiological management of this condition. We encourage all clinicians to notify these cases to the NMCSS.”