Child with thermometer
June 1, 2020 | by Jessica Ivers MD

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appeared that children were less likely to experience severe symptoms or complications of the disease. We are now becoming aware of a new condition in children that is like Kawasaki disease but thought to be associated with COVID-19. Cases have been reported in United Kingdom, Europe, New York, and Washington State.

Symptoms of MIS-C include:

  • Prolonged fever
  • Rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Kawasaki disease is a rare condition that causes swelling and inflammation of the arteries throughout the body. Early identification of MIS-C by clinicians, and referral to a pediatric specialist will aid in treatment.

We recommend parents call their child’s provider’s office for guidance on next steps if children have:

  • Prolonged fever of greater than 100 degrees for more than four days
  • Chest pain with activity
  • Combined symptoms of rash, red eyes, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, swollen lips, and tongue

There is still a lot we don’t know about MIS-C but it appears that many children diagnosed with the disease were exposed to COVID-19. MIS-C is a serious, and potentially deadly, condition but most children have improved with medical treatment.

Sources:

2020 Health alert #13: Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19. Daskalakis, Demeter May 4 2020

Health Advisory: Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19 in Children, May 12, 2020

Riphagen R, Gomez X, Gonzalez-Martinez C, Wilkinson N, Theocharis P. Hyperinflammatory shock in children during COVID-19 pandemic. the Lancet May 6, 2020

Resources:

King County Health Department - Pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19 in children

CDC - For Parents: MIS-C

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Written By: Jessica Ivers MD