SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) –
Although it’s a rare condition, local pediatricians at Cox Health and Mercy said it’s essential for parents to be aware of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C). It’s a severe condition that affects mostly children under 14 who have been exposed or had COVID-19.
Dr. Kofi Asare-Bawuah, Medical Director of Cox Health pediatrics, explained that although it’s linked to coronavirus, it’s a little more unpredictable.
“It’s actually an immune reaction that occurs two to four weeks after they get the coronavirus,” explained Dr. Asare-Bawuah. “And it’s that you can not prevent, it just happens. There’s no way of telling who’s going to get it.”
MIS-C can cause inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Dr. Diane Lipscomb, Mercy in-patient pediatric ICU & floor director said, “If a child gets MIS-C they can get very sick, and can be in the hospital and need intensive care service that can include dialysis among other things.”
Dr. Lipscomb said although there are unfavorable outcomes, she doesn’t want parents to panic. she said most children do well, and most children survive and assured that MIS-C is still very rare.
While data shows that Missouri and Arkansas have had less than 10 cases, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) most recent numbers show that there have been 792 confirmed cases of MIS-C and 16 deaths.
Dr. Asare-Bawuah said although it’s a rare condition parents should be vigilant and watch for symptoms.
“If they have a fever and they look very sick or they have other symptoms, you need to seek health care as soon as you can because they could have bad outcomes if you do not do that,” explained Dr. Asare-Bawuah.
Additional symptoms could include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. However, if you notice emergency warning signs, such as trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, severe abdominal pain, seek medical attention immediately.
Although symptoms may vary in each child, they could also mimic Kawasaki disease, which Dr. Lipscomb said has been around way before COVID-19. She said even if you have not had the virus and have had signs or symptoms, you should still seek medical attention.
Both Dr. Lipscomb and Dr. Asare-Bawuah said preventing the spread of illnesses, including the Coronavirus is key.
“The important thing is what you’ve been hearing all over everywhere,” emphasized Dr. Lipscomb. “Eat well, get good rest, have good healthy eating habits, wash your hands, and especially now in the world of COVID, you want to make sure you wear your mask and do social distancing.”
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