Which children are more likely to develop inflammatory syndrome following a COVID-19 infection?

A study of more than 1 million children is giving researchers a hint at who may be more likely to develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) following a COVID-19 infection.

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According to MedPage Today, researchers found that being Black, male, younger than 12 years old or obese are the factors found in the children who are most likely to develop the syndrome that sees an inflammatory reaction in the body about four weeks after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The initial symptoms of MIS-C often include fever, rashes, red eyes, diarrhea and vomiting, and may get worse over a few days, according to pediatrician Anna Sick-Samuels of Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

“The inflammation can affect the heart, blood vessels and other organs, which can make some children very ill and in need of urgent care,” Sick-Samuels said.

The study, which was published in the JAMA Network Open, one of the publications produced by the Journal of the American Medical Association, was characterized as “the largest U.S. pediatric SARS-CoV-2 cohort at the time of the study.”

Data was collected from 56 facilities through Sept. 24, 2021, which included some data on the delta variant wave.

Overall, 1,068,410 children were tested, with 15.6% of results coming back positive for COVID-19. More than 10,000 children were hospitalized with 13.9% with severe disease. A little more than 1% of the children died.

For the study, 707 children met the criteria for MIS-C. The study found that the children from the study who were diagnosed with MIS-C were likely to have at least one of the four variables.

The study’s authors did note that while the research seemed to show the pattern between the variants, they could not definitively attribute the reason for hospital admission to COVID-19 versus an unrelated cause.