Health officials report a slight increase in the rare COVID-related inflammatory syndrome in children after delta increases
A number of children’s hospitals across the country are warning of an increasing number of cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare condition in which various parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or digestive system organs, are inflamed.
MIS-C, which often appears four to six weeks after A COVID-19 infectionIt can be serious and potentially fatal, but most children diagnosed with it recover with medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Federal data shows there have been at least 46 confirmed deaths from MIS-C and 5,217 confirmed cases of MIS-C — and about 61% of reported cases have occurred in Hispanic/Latino or black children. children aged 6 to 11 years, Who may be eligible soon For the COVID-19 vaccine, the largest number of MIS-C cases have been reported since the onset of the pandemic.
Approximately 5.9 million children have tested positive for COVID-19, and MIS-C infection accounts for only 0.0009% of pediatric COVID-19 cases. However, between July and August, the average number of daily MIS-C cases nearly doubled.
“MIS-C occurs about four to six weeks after the initial infection with COVID, and we know that the delta variant has already affected children, more than it has in previous waves, and so it’s not really a big surprise that two weeks after you have the first cases of COVID start Then you start seeing cases of your MIS-C,” Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at UH Rainbow Children’s and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, told ABC News Friday, referring to the facility’s recent surge.
Dayton Children’s Hospital told ABC News that they’ve also seen a slight uptick in recent weeks. And it’s not just in Ohio where officials are seeing increases. In Tennessee, the number of MIS-C cases has more than tripled since early February.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in children over the past two months with a variable delta rise in our area,” said Dr. Sophie Katz, associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Vanderbilt. Wednesday press release. “Unfortunately, we expect an increase in MIS-C cases after this spike.”
Earlier this week, officials from Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, said at a news conference that their doctors had seen a slight increase in MIS-C in recent weeks as more children tested positive.
“I saw three with MIS-C in person last week,” said Dr. Angela Myers, director of infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy. “I think we have more [children] He has continued to be hospitalized since then. That’s more than the zero we had several months ago.”
On Wednesday, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which includes Mississippi’s only children’s hospital, reported that the state was still seeing severe cases of COVID-19 and MIS-C in children.
“What we have now is both MIS-C and severe acute COVID-19, and I think that’s because schools dropped mask assignments,” said Dr. Charlotte Hobbs, professor of pediatric infectious diseases and director of the MIS-C Clinic at UMMC. Permit. “We saw that decline in acute COVID-19, then MIS-C, and now severe COVID-19 on the rise again. COVID and acute MIS-C at the same time is something that has never happened before, and it can be prevented.”
Utah state Sharila Reuven’s 6-year-old son, Ziyer, contracted the rare syndrome earlier this month.
“How can something like that take over your baby’s life in one week? I don’t get it. It was like the scariest thing that has ever happened in my life. No mother should ever hear that your baby might not make it,” Ruffin told ABC News. Friday.” To see your 6-year-old lying there. He’s scared and doesn’t know what’s going on.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way for parents to protect their child is to take “daily actions” to prevent COVID-19, including mask wearing and hand washing.
At this time, severe illness due to COVID-19 remains “uncommon” among children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Association of Children’s Hospitals.
However, any severe illness from COVID-19 and the death of a child is worrisome, Dr. Richard Besser, a pediatrician and former director of the CDC, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday.
“One of the prevailing myths is that this COVID pandemic is not affecting children,” Besser said. “More than 600 children have died. Thousands have been hospitalized.”
Experts continue to stress the urgent need not only to vaccinate children, when they are eligible, but also for their parents and all those living in the communities around them to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.
ABC News’s Felicia Pebrica, Kelly Landrigan and Kristen Red Horse contributed to this report.