High fever, digestive disorders, cutaneous … This multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS) affects children aged 4 to 11 years. Their general condition is very altered. 88 cases have been recorded in PACA, according to the ARS, around ten at the Lenval hospital in Nice.

“Pims” is a funny name for a disease resulting from Covid. Which has nothing to do with orange-chocolate cakes.

For 15 days “PIMS”, an acute inflammatory syndrome which affects all organs, affects children aged 4 to 11 years.

This Monday morning, Doctor Philippe Babe, head of pediatric emergencies at the Lenval children’s hospital in Nice, is rather optimistic. This epidemic in young patients is said to be in a descending phase.

The doctor says the number of patients has dropped: “The peak was especially at the beginning of September. At the same time, we had a lot of children, around ten who had this syndrome.”

Delayed syndrome

For two weeks, the number of young patients admitted to Lenval for this type of syndrome has dropped. Partly because the teams are very aware, “As soon as a child or adolescent presents a picture with an inflammatory syndrome, he is quickly diagnosed.”

A delayed syndrome. Generally, children did not have any symptoms at the time of the Covid but they report six to eight weeks after being in contact with a positive person. During the last and 4th wave, the peak of incidence and contamination was 800 per 100,000 people, the children were therefore hospitalized after this peak, at the end of the summer.

Immunoglobulins and corticosteroids

For therapies, according to doctor Philippe Babe: “Today, it is fine. Since the clinical pictures appeared thanks to the French pediatric society and the intensive care unit, a protocol has been put in place.”

As soon as the diagnosis is made, doctors administer immunoglobulins and corticosteroids “on relatively short cures.” A therapy that shows good results.

“Most of the children are in remission with a medium term follow-up to see what will be the evolution”. Because, with this type of pathology, the Covid-19, “Our nose is flush with the ground”.

Two-thirds are in intensive care

Here are the main symptoms that can alert parents: high fever, skin damage, severe fatigue and widespread pain. Since the 4th wave, fever and gastric problems have added to great fatigue.

As these symptoms are also the same as those of other less serious and very widespread diseases, the doctor specifies: if the asthenia and the fever last more than 5 days, this must lead to a medical consultation.

For parents, hospitalization is never easy, but “As the prognosis is good, the parents are reassured”, says Philippe Babe.

Young patients are not in intensive care, but two-thirds are in intensive care in order to monitor their heart rate and follow the therapeutic protocol.

Even if each case is different, the hospitalization lasts on average between 8 and 10 days.

Currently, the peak for the “PIMS” seems under control, but the doctor notices the reappearance of the classic infections of the fall: gastro-anteritis, bronchiolitis.

How to detect a case of “PIMS”?

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years with continuous fever for 3 days or more than 3 days and who have at least of them of the following signs, should alert pediatricians:

  • acute gastrointestinal disturbances: diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • bilateral non-purulent rash or conjunctivitis or signs of mucocutaneous inflammation (mouth, hands or feet)
  • hypotension or shock
  • signs of myocardial dysfunction, pericarditis, valvulitis, or coronary abnormalities
  • elements indicative of coagulopathy

WHO has prepared a questionnaire for use by practitioners.

88 “PIMS” are listed in the PACA region

Following the alert launched by pediatricians in AP-HP hospitals at the end of April 2020, Public Health France and pediatric companies have set up monitoring of cases of myocarditis in children with Covid-19 infection.

Of the 727 cases identified in France in a year and a half: 88 “PIMS” are listed in the PACA region, according to the Regional Health Agency. A young patient has died.

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