The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) has confirmed the first case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) in a child with COVID-19. The child has been discharged from the hospital and is resting at home.
MIS-C is a rare condition where different body parts of the child can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C have presented with persistent fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, and fatigue. The long-term effects of the disease are unknown.
“This development is an unfortunate reminder that COVID-19 can impact people of any age, even children,” said Dr. Joan Connell, NDDoH field medical officer and pediatrician. “The best way to help prevent your child from getting MIS-C is to take action to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus and teach your child how to do the same.”
Dr. Connell explains that MIS-C may begin weeks after a child is infected or exposed to someone with COVID-19. It is not known yet what causes MIS-C, but many cases of MIS-C have had either a positive test result for the SARS-CoV-2 virus or have been around someone with COVID-19.
Parents should contact a health care provider if their child has symptoms of MIS-C and should seek emergency care if their child has trouble breathing, pain or pressure in their chest that will not go away, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, or severe abdominal pain.
As of Oct. 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports of 1,163 confirmed cases of MIS-C and 20 deaths in the United States. Additional cases are under investigation. Cases have occurred in children ages 1 year to 20 years old, with most patients between 1 and 14.
The NDDoH recommends that everyone take necessary, everyday actions to avoid getting the virus that causes COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently to limit your exposure to germs.
- Avoid close contact.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
- Cover coughs/sneezes.
- Stay home if you are feeling sick.
For more information about MIS-C and COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov/mis-c/index.html.