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Dr Joanne Paul

There remain 25 reported cases of COVID-19-related Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (Mis-C) in Trinidad & Tobago.

While there have been 40 cases reported in total, only 25 of the children tested positive for COVID-19, while 15 were negative, according to Dr Joanne Paul, the Medical Chief of Staff at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.

Speaking during yesterday’s Ministry of Health COVID-19 update, Paul said, “Because Mis-C comes after the COVID infection, they might not be positive, so it’s very common for them to not have a PCR positive or antibody positive.”

The Mis-C is very similar to extreme COVID, she said.

“The thing is that it usually comes up around four to six weeks after the adult surge of COVID. We’ve seen our surge in May, so by late June, early July, there may be a possibility of increased cases,” she said.

She said children can be asymptomatic carriers of the COVID-19 virus.

“In children that are infected, most of the cases are very mild or asymptomatic,” she said.

Children, she said, have fewer receptors and as such keep fewer viral particles, which also means that they transmit fewer particles and are less infectious.

“But the thing is, they would fool us because they are asymptomatic … because they are less infectious, we don’t have that visual cue,” Paul said.

She said children would not always present respiratory signs like adults. Instead, children infected present with stomach and digestive issues, including diarrhoea and vomiting.

“In terms of the heart, they’d have a high heart rate in terms of the pulse, they will be a little bit lethargic, look a little pale,” she said.

Paul said if children seem confused or drowsy, that is also an indication.

Noting the adult spike in May, Paul asked parents and guardians to pay special attention to children in the next few weeks.

“Observe your children,” she said.