A rare but potentially deadly condition linked to COVID-19 in children has caused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a health alert to physicians Thursday.
What We Know:
- The illness, which the CDC calls “multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children,” or MIS-C, has been reported in at least 19 states and Washington, D.C. It was previously referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
- Over 110 cases have been reported in New York, including three very young fatal victims ages 5, 7 and 18. New Jersey has at least 17 cases, and California has six. Other states, such as Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Washington, have reported small numbers of cases.
- The CDC’s health alert provides guidance for diagnosis of MIS-C. The diagnostic criteria includes a fever of at least 100.4 degrees for at least 24 hours, evidence of inflammation in the body and hospitalization with problems in at least two organs (such as the heart, the kidneys or the lungs).
- Also necessary for a diagnosis is evidence of COVID-19, either through a diagnostic test or a test that looks for antibodies to the coronavirus or through recent exposure to someone with the virus.
- “The CDC is requesting healthcare providers report suspected cases to public health authorities to better characterize this newly recognized condition in the pediatric population.”
Dr. Marc Siegel told Fox News on Monday the danger isn’t the virus itself, but the inflammation it causes. Any patients younger than 21 can qualify for the diagnosis, but it also said it’s unknown whether adults, too, could develop the condition.