Two infants have now tested positive for COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Following word on Tuesday from the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Health Briefing that a five-month-old had contracted the virus, the Ministry of Health revealed that another Tobago infant, just six months old, had also been infected.
Confirmation of the latest infection came at the ministry’s briefing from Medical Chief of Staff at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex Dr Joanne Paul.
Paul gave the information while speaking about the emerging cases of Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (Mis-C) in children in Trinidad and Tobago. She said it is a condition that causes inflammation to the major internal organs in children, affecting their lungs, brains and most seriously their hearts.
“The other aspect which is really the focus of Mis-C in children is the heart. The vessels of the heart might be inflamed, and the heart might beat faster,” Paul said.
But she said based on consultation with Dr Tiffany Hoyte, the acting County Medical Officer of Health in Tobago, she was able to say that both infants were “pretty mild” cases.
The infants contributed to Tobago’s toll of seven active cases among people 18 years and under.
T&T has the highest cases of Mis-C in CARICOM with 20 cases so far. Most patients are from the East-West corridor and have been treated at the EWMSC under the care of Paediatric Cardiologist Dr Ronan Ramroop.
Most of the children who developed the condition were of African descent or had mixed heritage, Paul said, noting children of East Indian descent seemed less prone.
Ramroop has collected data on the patients which can be presented to PAHO. They show that most of the patients were between the ages of six and 14 years old. Most were ill when they were admitted for treatment but were treated aggressively for the condition and stabilised, Paul said. All 20 young patients are stable.
Parents were advised that Mis-C tends to present in children four to six weeks after infection with COVID. Symptoms include a full body rash, listlessness, reduced energy levels, red or swollen eyes and a condition known as strawberry tongue. Parents were told to seek medical treatment for children with these symptoms immediately.
Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh said there are between 600-650 children who have tested positive for the virus so far, adding approximately 9.6% of all infections were under 19 years.