More than 600 US children hospitalized with mysterious COVID-19 syndrome
A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says nearly 600 children have been hospitalized in the United States with a rare coronavirus-related inflammatory syndrome. Writes about it Fox5NY.
In May, the CDC issued warnings to healthcare professionals and parents about Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C.
The CDC report covered MIS-C cases from mid-February to mid-July. Cases have been reported by 40 states.
The agency found that 29 child patients had been diagnosed with MIS-C as of July 570, according to state health departments across the country. The CDC also found that all patients with MIS-C tested positive for coronavirus, 10 of them died.
According to the CDC, MIS-C is a condition in which various parts of the human body become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or organs of the gastrointestinal tract.
Although MIS-C symptoms can vary, the most common ones include persistent fever, rash, conjunctivitis, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, swollen hands and feet, chapped lips and tongue.
“We don't know yet what is causing MIS-C. However, many children with MIS-C have had the virus that causes COVID-19, or have been around someone with COVID-19, ”the CDC said.
The CDC said the inflammatory disease was first reported in the United Kingdom back in late April, and on May 12, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said 100 children in the city had been diagnosed with MIS-C. Of the 100 people, 55 were infected with COVID-19 or had antibodies.
“The main problem that leads to MIS-C appears to be a dysfunctional immune system,” said Dr. Hermias Belay, who leads the CDC's MIS-C case study.
Some children with the syndrome have symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease, another rare childhood condition that can cause swelling and heart problems.
According to Belay, the immune system starts to accelerate when it detects a virus, releasing chemicals that can damage various organs.
A CDC report found that 13% of children with the condition were white, over 40% were Hispanic, and 33% were black. Overall, the population estimates that about half of children in the United States are white, about 25% are Hispanics, and about 14% are African Americans.
Scientists are still studying this disease. Experts say genes have nothing to do with why certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to seriously carry the coronavirus. But it is not yet clear whether genetics plays a role in inflammatory disease in children.
Health experts say that while the condition remains relatively rare, it is serious. Parents should be vigilant and report any symptoms to a doctor, especially if children have a long-term fever lasting more than a couple of days.
“Parents really shouldn't be afraid to take their child to the pediatrician if they're worried,” said Dr. Sean O'Leary, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital Colorado. “They should also, of course, make sure to take care of their children and get vaccinated. The diseases that we prevent with vaccines are actually much more serious for children than COVID-19, so we want to protect children from these diseases. ”
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