Potential new disease outbreak hits SA shores in the wake of COVID-19

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, outbreak, pandemic, Newcastillian
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While it was initially stated, children would generally not be under threat of the COVID-19 virus, with them potentially only contracting a milder version. It now appears, in light of new information, parents need to be on the lookout for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome symptoms in their children. A terrible associate of COVID-19 with potentially deadly outcomes for the youth. 

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), as stated, is associated with COVID-19 and has now been included in the Notifiable Medical Conditions (NMC) in South Africa. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) explains NMCs are diseases which are of public health importance. This is because they pose significant public health risks which may result in disease outbreaks or epidemics both at a national and international level.

Being a new threat, on the rise, MIS-C is a rare syndrome, however, after global reports of MIS-C associated with COVID-19 cases globally. Alarmingly, like its forerunner COVID-19, it recently reached South African soils.

MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

To date, the NICD claims it does not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, according to Sinenhlanhla Jimoh, Senior Communications Manager for the NICD, the NICD does know that many children with MIS-C had the virus COVID-19, or had been around someone with it.

It is important to highlight that MIS-C can be serious, even deadly. But most children who were diagnosed with this condition have enjoyed a full recovery, thanks to 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 theNotifiable Medical Conditions Surveillance System (NMCSS),” says Jimoh.

Going on to say, a team of paediatricians and other experts have 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 will serve to inform decisions made on the clinical and epidemiological management of this condition. In order to minimise the spread of (MIS-C), the NICD encourages all clinicians to notify them of these cases immediately.

According to the NICD, these are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Neck pain
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling extra tired   

With the threat of a new health risk looming over our heads, be sure to contact you local GP if your child displays any of these symptoms. We have just been rocked to our knees. Let us do everything to prevent a new 2020 from coming to life. However, this time, it’s not aimed at the elderly but rather, the children. 

Author: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer

Edited: Calvin Swemmer


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2 Responses

  1. What is the treatment for MIS-C and what assistance can we give to a child we suspect of having the condition before seeking medical attention?

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