A child from Central Mississippi was diagnosed with the first known case in the state of multisystem inflammatory syndrome caused by COVID-19, but State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said he expects to see more cases. Doctors believe it is not directly caused by the virus, rather that the weakened immune system following infection makes children more susceptible to getting MIS-C.
In late April, doctors in the United Kingdom began noticing reports of previously healthy children getting sick with what looked like the inflammatory illness Kawasaki disease.
Children with the syndrome may initially have severe symptoms - with some requiring mechanical assistance with breathing and blood circulation - but treatment with immune globulin and steroids appeared to help in rapid recovery, the study authors said in a journal news release.
Overall, the disease is very rare, affecting between 9 and 19 out of every 100,000 children under the age of five in the US.
Numerous children diagnosed with the syndrome tested positive for COVID-19, were previously infected with the novel coronavirus or had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
The patients arrived at Cook Children's following exposure to COVID-19 and had symptoms including fever, abdominal pain and outward evidence of inflammation including diffuse rashes, conjunctivitis and swelling. Fever can be treated with acetaminophen, but parents should contact health care professionals if the fever lasts more than a few days.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Nicholas Rister at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, said he has examined several children with a range of symptoms.
What are the symptoms of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children?
The CDC says it is not now known if MIS-C is specific to children or if it also occurs in adults, but it recommends that providers who have cared for patients under age 21 who meet MIS-C criteria to report suspected cases to their local or state health departments.
Numerous children in England who were diagnosed with MIS-C are from ethnic minoritie, Levin said.
Right from the first studies into the new coronavirus, authorities have warned that COVID-19 is a particular worry for the medically vulnerable. So basically, they will be infected, they'll be much more symptomatic.
Although the virus disproportionately kills the elderly, the inflammatory syndrome has been linked to the death of a 15-year-old in Baltimore County. "Most kids need ICU care with blood pressure support by medications and some needing oxygen or mechanical ventilation".
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