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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Feb 22: Seven out of 174 children aged 18 and below in Malaysia have died of multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) due to Covid-19 infections last year.
Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian emphasised that the best way to protect children who are also directly impacted by the pandemic are self-control and vaccination.
“Children infected with Covid-19 have a risk of developing MIS-C, a critical condition where inflammation occurs in the organs, particularly in the heart, lungs, and brain,” he shared in a social media post yesterday.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), MIS-C Malaysia Study Group has identified 174 cases of MIS-C among children below the aged of 18 after being infected with Covid-19 between June 2020 and December 2021.
Of the figure, 100 cases or 57 per cent involved children 5 to 11-years-old.
There were 25 cases below one-years-old, 38 cases (one to five-years-old), 64 cases (five to nine-years-old), 36 cases (nine to 12-years-old) and 11 cases (above 12-years-old.
The majority of the cases required critical care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
Although it is rare, MOH warned that MIS-C can be dangerous and deadly and urged parents to pay attention to symptoms that indicate the need to be referred to a clinical specialist or hospital.
The symptoms include fever for more than four days, abnormal physical weakness or asthenia (body lacks strength), conjunctivitis, red and cracked lips, loss of sense of smell and taste, swollen glands, neck pain, skin rash, difficulty breathing, coughing, nausea, diarrhea as well as other heart symptoms such as pericarditis that causes sharp chest pain.
MOH thus called on parents to get their children five to 11-years-old vaccinated as soon as possible.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah pointed out that clinical research showed that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on children aged five to 11-years-old is at 91 per cent and is able to enhance immunity against Covid-19, and reduce the risk of serious illness from the virus. — DayakDaily