Happily, we are beginning to see a decline in COVID-19 cases across the nation. Scientists say it’s due to a combination of vaccine distribution, better infection prevention by individuals, and the adoption of mask mandates.
This is good news, but it comes at a time when we’re seeing an increase in COVID-19’s threat to our children. Most children experience COVID-19 with barely a symptom – and in some cases, no symptoms at all. However, a rising number of kids go on to develop the complication Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), weeks after an infection.
Cases of MIS-C in the United States are still rare, but are rising. Researchers are not sure why, but suspect that children had mild or asymptomatic infections after holiday gatherings and are now developing the life-threatening complication.
Children as young as 12 months old and as old as 20 years have developed MIS-C, with 69% of cases found in children of color, Black, Hispanic or Latino. A slight majority of MIS-C patients have been male. 99% of children who develop MIS-C had COVID-19, and the remaining 1% were exposed to someone who was infected.
MIS-C causes inflammation throughout a child’s body, including the brain, skin, eyes, digestive system and other organs. Many children with MIS-C develop life-changing heart damage when the heart becomes inflamed.
Even if you don’t think your child had or was exposed to COVID-19, contact us immediately if they show any of these symptoms:
Not all children will show all symptoms, so even if your child just complains of a nagging tummy ache, call us immediately. We’ll order blood and imaging tests that will determine if there is evidence of inflammation in your child’s body. The sooner MIS-C is identified, the sooner treatment can begin.
Most children diagnosed with MIS-C require hospitalization, and often in pediatric ICU. While there is no “cure” for MIS-C, supportive care and medications will reduce inflammation to avoid permanent damage to your child’s organs.
Do not assume that your child did not have COVID-19, even if they had no symptoms and you are unaware of any exposure to the virus. If you see symptoms of MIS-C, contact our office immediately.
If you have questions about COVID-19, MIS-C or your child’s health, please call our office at 203-229-2000 or click here to make an appointment. We are always happy to help.