Dozens of Georgian children develop rare but serious complication associated with COVID-19

  • Georgian doctors have urged the Georgin Health Ministry to cover the expenses related to multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

Agenda.ge, 14 Jan 2021 - 16:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

Dozens of Georgian children have developed a multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) which is a rare but serious complication associated with COVID-19, Radio Liberty has reported. 

Most of the children who developed the syndrome in Georgia and abroad were infected with coronavirus in the recent past. 

It still has not been fully identified what causes MIS-C. However, most of the children with MIS-C had the virus that causes Covid-19. 

Radio Liberty reports that dozens of  Georgian children that have the syndrome are undergoing treatment in hospitals, while dozens of others have already recovered. 

As of January 12, 2021 only in Iashvili Children Hospital in Tbilisi 12 children with the syndrome are undergoing treatment, while two others are in New Hospitals,” said RFE/RL. 

Georgian doctors have posted in the social media that the treatment of MIS-C is ‘very expensive considering the economic situation into account.’ 

Doctor Ani Kavtaradze posted on Facebook last week that mainly immunoglobulin is used in the treatment of MIS-C, while the medicine is in deficit in Georgia and a single package (2.5g) costs around 600 GEL ($187)

Georgian doctors have urged the health ministry to ensure the provision of immunoglobulin. 

She said that a child with the syndrome may be in need of 10 packages or more taking weight into account (a child who weighs about 20 kg needs about 16 doses which is 9,600GEL ($3,000). 

She and other doctors have urged the Georgian Health Ministry to provide the medicine and cover the treatment as the cases of coronavirus are likely to surge in the coming months (Georgia is expecting an uptick of coronavirus in mid-February). 

The Georgian Health Ministry has responded to RFE/RL that as of today there is no need to ensure the provision of the medicine because not all patients with MIS-C need it and not all doctors use it during the treatment. 

They said that if the cases increase and people request the funding for the medicine, the ministry will discuss the issue of whether or not to cover expenses. 

What is MIS-C?

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

Coronavirus cases began to surge in Georgia in mid-September 2020. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

What are the symptoms of MIS-C?

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

Not all children have all the same symptoms.

When doctors suspect MIS-C, they need to rule out active cases of COVID-19 as well as other inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease, sepsis or toxic shock syndrome, for early diagnosis and proper treatment.

Treatment depends on the type and severity of symptoms and which organs and other parts of the body are affected by inflammation.

RFE/RL says that in the US, between May and October of 2020, 1,288 cases of MIS-C were reported. 23 children of the 1,288 died. They were between one and 14 years-old. 

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