Local doctors in Taiwan have found acute encephalitis, a life-threatening brain inflammation, among children with COVID-19.
According to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), five out of the 10 COVID-19 deaths among children aged 1 to 12 years old since April 19 have been linked to acute encephalitis. Out of the 22 severe cases recorded on Sunday, 11 patients had acute encephalitis.
Chiu Nan-chang, president of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan, said that children’s excessive immune response might cause acute encephalitis.
Chiu said that a person’s immune response to infections includes releasing a protein called cytokine. He said a sudden release of a large amount of cytokine might damage the nervous system.
According to Lee Chien-chang, a physician at the Department of Emergency Medicine of National Taiwan University Hospital (NTHU), an immature blood-brain barrier might also cause acute encephalitis among children with COVID-19.
CECC has planned to investigate the causes of the said brain condition among children. CECC also announced Monday it would assist local governments in setting up vaccination stations for children aged 5 to 11 years old.
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