More than 50,000 children under 12 in Malaysia contracted COVID-19 in the first 7 weeks of 2022! Here is what you must know!
More Than 50K Children Contracted COVID-19 In 2022!
The Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) recently revealed that 50,826 children under 12 contracted COVID-19 in the first 7 weeks of 2022 – from 1 January until 17 February!
Fortunately, the majority of cases were mild to moderate (Categories 1 and 2), but because of the huge number of infections, many of them needed to be hospitalised, with some requiring ICU care and even ventilation.
What’s really worrying is as the case numbers rapidly increase, more children now have to be hospitalised.
This chart shared by KKM shows the number of hospital beds used by children with different COVID-19 categories.
The vast majority are, naturally, used by children with COVID-19 Category 3, 4 and 5.
Some Children Who Contracted COVID-19 Will Develop MIS-C
As past 2021 data had already shown, some of these children who contracted COVID-19 will develop MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children).
While it is not common, MIS-C is a serious consequence of COVID-19 infection, in which multiple organs in the child becomes inflamed – heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, eyes, and the gastrointestinal organs.
Back in 2020-2021 when paediatric cases of COVID-19 were lower than it is today, 174 children with COVID-19 developed MIS-C in Malaysia.
The majority of children developing MIS-C from COVID-19 required PICU care, and despite getting that, seven (4%) of them died.
Shockingly, all of the affected children had left ventricle dysfunction, with 68% developing shock and almost 29% developing cardiac failure requiring VA ECMO – a heart-lung machine.
Here is the breakdown of symptoms seen in children who developed MIS-C after contracting COVID-19.
|MIS-C Conditions /
|Fever > 4 days + Asthenia *||100%|
|Left ventricle dysfunction
– VA ECMO
– Coronary dilatation
– Nausea, diarrhoea
– Exploratory laparascopy
|Cervical + mesenteric
|Red and cracked lips||54%|
* Asthenia = generalised physical weakness or lack of energy
Although KKM did not reveal data on long COVID, that is also another risk factor for any child who contracts COVID-19.
Both MIS-C and long COVID do not only have long-term consequences for the affected child, their parents and siblings will suffer as well.
Hence, it is important that we protect our children by vaccinating them against COVID-19.
The approved Pfizer paediatric vaccine for COVID-19 is 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5-11 years in age, while the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents and adults are 95% effective against COVID-19.
Even after they are fully-vaccinated, we must teach our kids to continue with COVID-19 preventive measures like wearing face masks + face shield, as well as maintaining social distance and hand hygiene.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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