New information released on rare inflammatory syndrome affecting kids exposed to COVID-19

New information released on rare inflammatory syndrome affecting kids exposed to COVID-19

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

Boston Children’s Hospital led one of the studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “In these areas that are now experiencing peaks in the virus, what may follow weeks is emergence of children with these cases,” said Adrienne Randolph, the lead investigator of the study at Boston Children’s.

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 exposure to COVID-19. The child’s immune system could overreact and inflame other systems in the body after exposure.

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“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,” Randolph said.

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

“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 Dr. 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 since most children did not have underlying health issues prior.

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

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