‘It’s a rare syndrome’: Doctor discusses rare post-COVID illness in children

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 5:10 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:06 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As doctors continue to do their research on a new variant of COVID-19, they’re also keeping an eye on MIS-C, also known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.

The rare disease is associated with COVID-19 and may affect a child’s heart, lungs, and other major organs.

On Friday, state health officials reported the first death from MIS-C in Virginia.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, the child was between 10 and 19 years old and resided in the Prince William Health District. No other information will be released about the patient.

“As far as we know, it’s a rare syndrome,” said Dr. Alison Ansher, health director of the Prince William Health District. “I would recommend you keep an eye on your child.”

Dr. Ansher says symptoms could appear up to four weeks after your child gets COVID-19.

“Where they have a fever for several days, really significant as if they have trouble breathing, or chest pain or abdominal pain,” she said.

According to a spokesperson for the Children’s Hospital of Richmond, hospital officials reached their peak of MIS-C cases in October.

Throughout the month of October, the spokesperson said 15 kids were hospitalized. Previously, the spokesperson said two to three kids were hospitalized per month.

“The faster a child gets supportive care, the better off the child will be,” said Dr. Ansher.

Since the pandemic began, the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU has reported 50 MIS-C cases and no children have died at the hospital as a result of the rare disease.

The spokesperson also said cases have not been as high this month as they were in October, a condition Dr. Ansher said is a rare disease.

“Most kids do fine. Most kids, even with supportive care, after MIS-C do fine,” she said. “The number of children we have in the state of Virginia, it’s still rare, but it does not mean a parent shouldn’t observe their child always for some of those symptoms, which could be something else.”

Dr. Ansher said the best way to prevent MIS-C is to get a COVID-19 vaccine, wear a mask, and wash your hands.

Most children with MIS-C have 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
  • Swollen hands and feet

Not all children with MIS-C have the same symptoms.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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