Malaysian doctor’s account of children with COVID-19 complications sparks online concern

Screenshot of Vivian Lee’s post. Photo: Littlemisshappyfeet/ Instagram
Screenshot of Vivian Lee’s post. Photo: Littlemisshappyfeet/ Instagram

A Malaysian doctor’s personal account of two children suffering from COVID-19 complications is causing a stir online. 

One of them was having trouble walking while the other suffered from a seizure, doctor Vivian Lee of Penang wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday that has since been shared 14,000 times on Twitter today. Known by her Instagram handle Littlemisshappyfeet, Lee said that the children’s condition was giving her sleepless nights. 

“According to her mother, she started walking ‘like an old man’ [three] weeks after they completed their quarantine and within [three] days she lost all her ability to walk or even stand,” Lee said about the first child, who was a two-year-old. The toddler started to have trouble walking within a month of testing positive for COVID-19, she added. 

The other child, a four-year-old, had a seizure that lasted 40 minutes and walked “weird” on the third day in the hospital, Lee said.  

Implying that the children may have gotten infected while out in public, Lee then advised parents against bringing their young children out in order to protect them from the coronavirus. 

“Stop bringing babies to shopping malls, stop bringing kids to picnic gatherings at the park, stop bringing kids to dine in,” she said. Fully-vaccinated parents are now allowed to bring their kids to public places. Similar to other countries, Malaysia does not have a COVID-19 vaccine that is suitable for children. 

Lee’s Instagram post sparked concerns among readers, some of whom were asking for children to be vaccinated soon. 

“Please, can we get vaccines for the kids faster..? Schools need to re-open, outdoor activities are necessary for them too,” Syazwaniesoleh wrote, another said: “Kids need to get vaccinated ASAP!”

“This is scary AF. I went to IOI Mall last week and saw many parents bringing along their young children. Some even brought their babies to the mall,” Aisyahbharudin wrote

The doctor’s viral post came a month after a medical expert told The Star that more children were being hospitalized for COVID-19 amid the spread of the Delta variant in Malaysia, causing the children’s ward at the University Malaya Medical Centre to be expanded. One complication linked to COVID-19 among children was inflammation of organs such as the heart, lungs, blood vessels and kidneys, otherwise known as the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, the report said.

The World Health Organization has always insisted that COVID-19 was generally milder among children. However, it recently acknowledged reports of clusters of children suffering from MIS-C that might be linked to the coronavirus. 

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