UPDATED THIS WEEK: CDC has announced a treatment for the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. Click here to read the updates below.
The CDC has issued an official health advisory regarding what is being called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019. Last week, Parentology reported on the mysterious syndrome, which is causing medical experts to rapidly change the belief that children are relatively safe from the devastation of COVID-19.
During a Senate hearing on May 12, 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, warned about the potential impact on sending children back to the classroom in the fall. Dr. Fauci said, “We don’t know everything about this virus, and we really better be pretty careful, particularly when it comes to children. I think we better be careful if we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects [of the virus].’’
This new syndrome indicates that children are, in fact, not exempt from it.
CDC – Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
The CDC alert advises healthcare providers to report cases that fit the criteria of the syndrome, including:
- Fever of 100.4 degrees F (38 C) that lasts 24 hours or longer
- Laboratory evidence of inflammation
- Illness requiring hospitalization
- Involvement of at least two organ systems, including cardiac, renal, respiratory, hematologic, gastrointestinal, dermatologic or neurological
The alert also identifies specific lab values to take into consideration.
Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s healthcare provider if their child experiences severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting, rapid heart rate, rashes, changes in skin color, confusion, or unusual sleepiness. Although respiratory symptoms have been a hallmark of COVID-19 patients, there have been children diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome who did not experience respiratory symptoms.
Some children who presented with the symptoms of the syndrome have tested negative for COVID-19; however, the CDC alert includes as part of their reporting criteria, a positive test for the virus or exposure to COVID-19 within the four weeks prior to when symptoms of the syndrome began. Although it has been seen in children as young as two and up to fifteen, the CDC is directing healthcare providers to report cases of anyone under the age of twenty-one.
There have been reports of children coming down with the syndrome up to six weeks after recovering from COVID-19.
Why It Happens
One theory about what causes the syndrome is the fact that children’s immune systems are still developing, and they go into a hyperactive response to fight the virus. While the syndrome has been described as being similar to Kawasaki Disease or Toxic Shock, it is a different and unique illness.
When the CDC issued the health advisory on May 14, there had been 102 cases reported in New York state, with three deaths being attributed to it. Cases have been reported from other states as well as other countries.
Although the syndrome has been receiving a great deal of attention, the American Academy of Pediatrics website for parents, Healthy Children, reminds parents that this syndrome is very rare.
The CDC has announced a treatment for the sickness, now referred to as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. According to the CDC, doctors have reported success in treating the illness with immunotherapy and steroids in order to lessen the active immune response.
The announcement mentioned the case of 12-year-old Juliet Daly of Jefferson, Louisiana. Daly suffered cardiac arrest as a result of MIS-C before being revived and spending four days on a ventilator. Now, her doctors say that immunotherapy and steroid treatment helped save her life. She is reportedly out of the hospital with no signs of permanent cardiac damage, reports Today.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome CDC — Sources
TOP IMAGE: COURTESY OCHSNER HEALTH
CDC – Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Healthy Children – COVID-19 and Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome
PBS – Key moments from the Senate’s coronavirus hearing with top health officials