New information released on rare inflammatory syndrome affecting kids exposed to coronavirus

BOSTON — New information has been released on the rare inflammatory syndrome affecting kids who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

Boston Children’s Hospital led one of the reports published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“In these areas that are now experiencing peaks in the virus, what may follow weeks later is emergence of children with these cases,” said Adrienne Randolph, MD at Boston Children’s.

Dr. Randolph is urging parents to continue to be on high alert for this rare syndrome found in individuals under 21. Multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) is found in patients 8 years-old on average, after their exposure to the COVID-19 virus. The child’s immune system could overreact and inflame other systems in the body after such exposure.

“With treatment, most of these kids get better and get out of the ICU. Death is very uncommon but many of them need a lot of support when in the ICU,” said Randolph.

Randolph led the study by Boston Children’s, which reviewed cases of 186 children diagnosed with MIS-C from March 15 to May 20, 2020. Fifty-three pediatric hospitals from 26 states reported cases and 80% of patients experienced cardiovascular symptoms. Four or more organ systems were involved in 71% of cases.

“The great majority of them had the same symptoms of fever that was persistent and a lot of gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting or nausea,” said Randolph.

Parents should keep an eye out for fever, skin rash, or red tongue. Doctors will continue to work to find out what triggers this rare syndrome in healthy kids, but it’s tough to find out who is at risk because most children did not have underlying health issues before.

Four children have died and 79% of patients needed to be in the ICU.

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