The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an alert Thursday on a rare, mysterious, coronavirus-related inflammatory syndrome increasingly being found in children and sometimes leading to death.
- Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) linked to COVID-19 was first recognized in the United Kingdom on April 26, 2020, and the illness has since emerged in places like New York City, where 100 cases were reported by Thursday.
- Guidance for diagnosis includes a fever of at least 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for over 24 hours, evidence of inflammation and severe issues in two organs that require hospitalization.
- Unlike commonly seen in patients with severe coronavirus infections, children don't necessarily experience respiratory complications.
- The children found with the syndrome either tested positive for the coronavirus or were found to have antibodies in their blood, or had an epidemiologic link to a confirmed case.
- With limited information on the syndrome, including if it could affect adults, the agency "is requesting healthcare providers report suspected cases to public health authorities to better characterize this newly recognized condition in the pediatric population.”
- Doctors have previously compared the syndrome to Kawasaki disease and theorized it could be a post-viral syndrome caused by delayed immune system response.
Throughout the pandemic, the broad assumption was that children were less likely to be affected by the coronavirus. The syndrome has accounted for three known deaths in New York State, with Governor Andrew Cuomo calling it "truly disturbing." According to CNN, between 75 and 100 children in Britain have contracted the syndrome, as well as at least 150 children in the U.S.
The U.S. leads the world in confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 1,416,528, nearly a third of all cases globally. It also leads in reported deaths with 85,813, over double the second-leading country in the United Kingdom.
Flying in the face of President Trump’s push to reopen the economy, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease doctor in the country, said during his Senate hearing Tuesday, “I think we better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects." Trump the following day told reporters he found the comments "unacceptable" and said, “I don’t consider our country coming back if the schools are closed,” further remarking that the virus “had very little impact on young people.”