Children Experiencing Complication Possibly Linked to Coronavirus Require Immediate Attention, Hospitalization

Experts say that children showing signs of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) must be hospitalized immediately, as it may be a sign of coronavirus complications. More and more is being understood about MIS-C and it's association with COVID-19 in children as the pandemic rages on. According to a report by CNN, children should be taken to a doctor immediately if they show signs of this inflammation.

Children around the country have shown odd symptoms of MIS-C, which doctors say is related to COVID-19. It does not look the same as adults who get the virus; however, children may suffer from stomach pains, vomiting and fever. The most striking symptom is a rash that can cover vast portions of the body, doctors said at a meeting organized by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. The syndrome often causes damage to the heart in those who are infected.

So far, doctors are having a hard time defining MIS-C's relation to COVID-19. The syndrome seems to manifest with two to six weeks after children are infected with COVID-19, generally affecting those who were healthy beforehand. However, in many cases, the children never show signs of the coronavirus at all, instead being overtaken by the symptoms of MIS-C itself.

MIS-C cases have been growing slowly alongside cases of COVID-19 itself. So far, at least 20 states have confirmed cases of the syndrome, as well as Washington, D.C. Dr. James Schneider of Norwell Health in New York urged parents to take their children to the hospital as soon as they saw the first signs of infection.

"A striking finding here — alarming — is that in this group, about half the children already had coronary artery abnormalities," he said. "Any child at home who has fever, abdominal pain or symptoms such as rash and conjunctivitis should be seen by a pediatrician right away. I think we need to have a low threshold for evaluation."

According to Schneider, more than half of the children treated for MIS-C at his hospital in the last two months have developed a heart dysfunction. He believes the best way to minimize this risk is to get them "good, old-fashioned critical care" as fast as possible. Meanwhile, doctors are trying to spread the word among colleagues to keep each other from downplaying the symptoms when they see them. Dr. Michael Levin of Imperial College in London said that parents must resist their fear of going to the hospital despite the risk of coronavirus there.

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"One of the reasons for this may have been the lockdown and fear of coming to hospital," he said. "The public health message in the UK was that patients should try and stay at home and not attend hospital."

For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.