Coronavirus: Kawasaki-like symptoms being observed in young children

Researchers dig into syndrome in children linked to COVID-19

However, in early May, this hyperinflammatory process in children occurred in the United Kingdom, several other European countries, and across the U.S. The majority of the children were previously healthy.

In its federal study, Boston's Children's Hospital reviewed 186 cases of MIS-C in 26 states between March 15 and May 20.

The other study, separate from the one at Children's, looked at data from NY state involving 95 patients with confirmed MIS-C.

If detected early, the condition can be treated by doctors, and most children recover without any problems. A high proportion also had skin rashes. However, Randolph said numerous children in the study did not meet all criteria for that diagnosis.

In the NY study, researchers found that the features of MIS-C that most closely resemble Kawasaki disease were more common in younger children.

Some kids, including kids here in Cleveland, have had serious complications thought to be linked to coronavirus infection.

On the whole, children appear to contract SARS-CoV-2 less often than adults and have a milder course of disease when they do.

Symptoms of the Kawasaki-type affliction include: persistent fever, irritability or sluggishness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting, rash, red or pink eyes, enlarged lymph node gland on one side of the neck, red cracked lips or red tongue, and swollen hands and feet. Shortly thereafter, doctors in NY began to report cases as well. However, the C suffer from MIS-rule, older children, and the inflammatory reaction more intense. Few of the children are under the age of 5.

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Cardiac involvement was common in both studies: In the national data, 80% had cardiovascular involvement, 48% received vasoactive support, and 8% of the children had coronary artery aneurysms documented with z scores ≥2.5.

Two case study reports published online along with the editorial shed more light on MIS-C, but also posted more questions. Most of the patients were male, 31 of 78 were Black, and 31 of 85 were Hispanic.

Limitations of the study include the working case definition for MIS-C, some cases may have another underlying cause, and "pooled statewide results... may not accurately reflect test positivity or the incidence of Covid-19 in the catchment populations of our participating hospitals".

In summary, MIS-C (PIMS-TS) is a rare multisystem inflammatory condition that affects children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years who have tested positive for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 infection). The infection rate in people under the age of 21 years was 322 in 100,000 over that period.

This rare syndrome affects two people in 100,000, said Michael Levin, professor of pediatrics and worldwide child health at Imperial College London, according to a report in Reuters. So far, it appears that children who fall ill with the rare condition do so weeks after COVID-19 cases peak in their area.

"There is a concern that children meeting current diagnostic criteria for MIS-C are the "tip of the iceberg" and a bigger problem may be lurking below the waterline", Levin wrote.

"One thing our study adds is that this is not just in Europe or NY, it's across the United States", she said.

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