NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Since the start of the pandemic, we have learned that the coronavirus can have a serious impact on the health of our children.
Early on in the pandemic the one glimmer of good news was that it seemed that this virus spared children. We now know that’s not the case.
COVID-19 does strike children. Rarely, but it does happen. More recently came disturbing reports of a serious inflammatory syndrome in children that may be triggered by the SARS-COV-2 virus. Dubbed MIS-C in the U.S., it shares some, but not all, characteristics with Kawasaki disease and toxic syndrome, both potentially lethal diseases.
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Now, two new studies, one British and the other from New York Presbyterian Children’s Hospital, and an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) are shedding some light on this perplexing disease. MIS-C patients are generally older than Kawasaki children, and while most test positive for coronavirus, some do not and affected children may not show symptoms for three to six weeks after exposure to corona.
While symptoms varied widely, they included many days of high fever, rash, red or pink eyes, red lips and, most concerning, many children went into shock, showed heart abnormalities, and required cardiac support.
The good news is that nearly all of the children responded well to supportive treatments combined with steroids and IV antibodies.
Researchers are still working to decipher what exactly MIS-C disease is. While similar to Kawasaki and toxic shock, the relationship with coronavirus could reveal important facts about how that virus impacts the immune system.