FAIRFAX, Va. (WWBT/WHSV) — The Virginia Department of Health is reporting a second case of a rare inflammatory syndrome that the CDC has warned is affecting some children around the country who have contracted COVID-19.
According to the health department, both cases have been reported in the Fairfax Health District in northern Virginia.
There have been no details released by the health department in the second case.
Officials say the child in the first case, whose age was not released, was hospitalized on May 5 and has since been discharged and is recovering at home.
MIS-C, previously called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, is a new health condition associated with COVID-19. The CDC recently alerted doctors that the condition had reported been in at least 110 New York children, as well as children in other states. A few children across the country have died.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, the first reports of the syndrome came from the United Kingdom in late April.
MIS-C may cause problems with a child’s heart and other organs. Most children with MIS-C have a fever lasting several days and may show symptoms of irritability or decreased activity, abdominal pain without another explanation, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, conjunctivitis, lack of appetite, red or cracked lips, red or bumpy tongue, or swollen hands and feet.
State health commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. issued a letter with guidance on the syndrome to Virginia health care providers on May 15.
Dr. Oliver confirmed in the governor's latest COVID-19 briefing on Monday that they had just learned of one Virginia case of the syndrome at the time and were getting more data to release more information.
“I urge all health care providers in Virginia to immediately report any patient who meets these criteria to the local health department by the most rapid means,” said Dr. Oliver. “All Virginians should take steps to avoid exposure to COVID-19 by practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing cloth face coverings if appropriate.”
Cloth face coverings are not recommended for children under 2 years old.
Parents should watch for persistent fever in their children and contact their pediatrician if a child appears especially ill.
The CDC's advisory came on May 14, warning of symptoms of persistent fever, hypotension, multisystem organ involvement and elevated markers of inflammation.
Gov. Northam said the situation surrounding the potential effects on children is a great example of the need for antibody tests, because the syndrome can happen weeks after a child was exposed to the virus, when a PCR test would give a negative result but an antibody test would show the child had contracted the virus.
It is not currently known how common it may be for children to experience these symptoms.
Children are less likely than adults to develop COVID-19 and their illnesses usually are less severe, although they can spread the disease without showing symptoms.
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