501 cases of this childhood disease have been identified by Public Health France between March 2020 and April 2021. This syndrome causes generalized inflammation of the organs and symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease.

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What is PIMS, this childhood illness linked to covid?

High fever, stomach pains, skin rashes, swelling of the tongue… Many symptoms behind which can be hidden the multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or PIMS. It is a rare pathology, which affects some children who are already sick with covid. This inflammation of the whole organism can lead to intensive care because it can get worse and also affect the heart.

“The heart is going to be paralyzed, if we can make an analogy. It will no longer perform its function. It is a muscle so it must fill with blood, eject the blood and therefore there may be an impairment of the filling or ejection or both “ explains Doctor Zahra Belhadier, cardiopediatrician at Necker Hospital.

A diagnosis too late?

Treatment with corticosteroids and immunoglobins helps control inflammation and restore heart function. Many children therefore do not have any cardiac sequelae. But for some parents the diagnosis is far too late, “between 4 and 7 days” according to Marie Valdes, president of the Families of Children PIMS Covid association. The children therefore remain in great suffering.

To alleviate this problem, Professor Damien Bonnet, cardiopediatrician at the origin of the alert, calls for “reinforce information” and “measure inflammation in the blood”. This early management would prevent a worsening of symptoms and a passage in intensive care.

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