The severity of the disease is directly proportional to the viral load.
New Delhi: A recent study among children has shown that one in every four children admitted with chikungunya suffer life threatening complications. This study revealed that 25 per cent of hospitalised children had sepsis and septic shock on the very first day of high-grade fever.
The study, conducted at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute in the national capital, showed that chikungunya is no longer a benign disease for children. It was conducted on 49 children, out of which 13 were admitted in intensive care unit (ICU).
The study further revealed that children were susceptible to life threatening complications. Few of them, who reported late, even had multiple organ failure and had to be kept on ventilators.
The severity of the disease is directly proportional to the viral load. More the virus count, higher the severity. The study showed a striking fact that children with the severe form of the disease were either less than one year of age or from the 11-14 age group.
According to Dr Pradeep Sharma, the senior consultant at the Pediatric Critical Care at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, children with high-grade fever presenting cold and blue extremities are actually in shock.
“These children can be saved if they are taken to the hospital with all facilities in time. Unfortunately, severities may develop within 24 hours of the fever. It is always preferable to take the child to a qualified doctor on the onset of the fever itself. This will save the child from unnecessary complications,” said Dr Sharma. Doctors claimed that affected children may present with high-grade fever; rashes over arms, shoulder, back, and occasionally all over the body; and joint pains. There may be abdominal pain, irrelevant talking, lymphadenopathy, swelling of the eyelids, and pharyngitis while infants may have watery diarrhoea.
“Laboratory diagnosis always helps to save a child. Avoiding non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and use of simple paracetamol will help a long way in recovery,” doctors advised.