ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The move is on to get kids as young as five years old vaccinated against COVID-19. The rush is in response to an increasing number of children getting COVID and then experiencing inflammation throughout their bodies. Ivanhoe shows us it can impact kids for months, possibly even years. MIS-C
Jackson Thorn has got game … whether he’s shooting hoops … or playing a game of catch. Not much slowed this 12-year-old down. Until …
“My head started hurting and my stomach started hurting,” explained Jackson.
“He woke up in the middle of the night and was wheezing,” said Amy Polly, Jackson’s mom.
Jackson was suffering from an after-effect of COVID in kids called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C for short.
“I see kids with MIS-C and I see this post inflammatory reaction to COVID is really just like nothing I’ve seen in my career before,” stated Megan Cooper, MD, a pediatric rheumatologist immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Dr. Cooper said that many of her patients, like Jackson, didn’t even know they had COVID until they started feeling the after-effects of MIS-C, causing inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and digestive organs.
“This is not the flu. This is not a bad cold,” continued Dr. Cooper.
“I felt scared because I didn’t know what was wrong with me,” shared Jackson.
Symptoms include a high fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
“All of a sudden he would go from feeling okay to a super high fever, terrible headache, all within a matter of like five minutes,” said Amy.
Jackson spent eight days in the hospital which included a ten-hour IV infusion, followed by two weeks of steroids. Jackson is now feeling better. Dr. Cooper said the best way to avoid MIS-C is to avoid getting COVID.
“Get vaccinated, please,” stated Dr. Cooper.
Black and Hispanic children have been disproportionally impacted by MIS-C. Doctors don’t know why some kids with COVID get MIS-C and some don’t, or how long symptoms will last. But symptoms usually occur within two to four weeks after having the virus or being around someone who had it. Interestingly, researchers believe that in the future, COVID-19 will primarily impact very young children, as most everyone else will be vaccinated.
Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.
MIS-C: THE LONG-LASTING IMPACT OF COVID ON KIDS
BACKGROUND: Children of all ages can become ill with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, it’s been seen that most kids who are infected don’t become as sick as adults, and some don’t show any symptoms at all. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, children represent about 15% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Children with underlying conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma, might be at higher risk of serious illness. Children who have congenital heart disease, genetic conditions or conditions affecting the nervous system or metabolism, also might be at higher risk of serious illness. Experts suggest these children may not be as severely affected by the virus because there are other coronaviruses that spread in the community and cause diseases like the common cold. Since children often get colds, their immune systems are primed to provide them with some protection against COVID. It’s also possible that children’s immune systems interact with the virus differently.
MIS-C IN CHILDREN WITH COVID: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), also called pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, is a potentially serious illness in children that appears to be a delayed, post-infectious complication of the COVID-19 infection. MIS-C shows symptoms that affect several organs and systems in the body which resemble toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, where the coronary arteries enlarge or form aneurysms. Also common are heart inflammation with impaired heart function and low blood pressure, rash or red eyes, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Researchers suspect that MIS-C is caused by a delayed immune response to the coronavirus that somehow goes into overdrive, causing inflammation that damages organs. It’s also possible that the antibodies children make to the virus, or some of their immune cells, are creating the illness. Currently, MIS-C is diagnosed based on symptoms together with laboratory tests to look for signs of inflammation in the body.
NEW COMBINED THERAPY HELPS: A new study shows timely and aggressive immunomodulatory treatment for MIS-C combined with IVIG and steroids helps children achieve normal cardiovascular function sooner. A report from the CDC-funded Overcoming COVID-19 study, launched by Boston Children’s Hospital, concluded that when children treated for MIS-C are matched for initial illness severity, they do better when given both IVIG and steroids, rather than IVIG alone. The combined treatment, given early, better protected patients’ hearts and reduced their need for subsequent additional treatments. “It’s really hard to conduct a randomized trial, because MIS-C is a rare, sporadic post-infectious complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection,” stated Boston Children’s critical care physician Adrienne Randolph, MD, principal investigator of Overcoming COVID-19. “Despite the limitations, our data is probably the best guide we have right now for treating patients who are experiencing or at risk for severe cardiac complications.”
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