Public Health Confirms 41st L.A. County Child Was Diagnosed with Rare COVID-related Syndrome

Although rare, MIS-C is a serious syndrome tied to COVID-19. | Photo by Guillermo Descortés from Pixabay

C.D.C. identifies similar syndrome appearing in adults

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Friday that another child has been diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare but serious condition linked to COVID-19.

All 41 children with MIS-C in L.A. County were hospitalized and 46% of the children were treated in the I.C.U. Of the children with MIS-C, 27% were younger than 5 years old, 39% were between the ages of 5 and 11, and 34% were between the ages of 12 and 20. Latino/Latinx children account for 70% of the reported cases.

There are no reported MIS-C deaths in L.A. County children.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “in children who go on to develop MIS-C, some organs and tissues — such as the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, digestive system, brain, skin or eyes — become severely inflamed.” Children with the syndrome usually exhibit abdominal pain, vomiting, skin rash, fever, diarrhea, hypotension, and conjunctivitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C). However, a “substantial number” of patients had severe complications including cardiac dysfunction, shock, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), coronary artery dilatation or aneurysm, and acute kidney damage.

In a report Friday, the C.D.C. identified a new multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A) similar to MIS-C. The 27 patients identified by the agency had “cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and neurologic symptoms without severe respiratory illness and concurrently received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antibody assays indicating recent infection.“

Although the majority of MIS-A patients survived, the C.D.C. admits that data is limited and that additional cases may not have been reported or were misclassified as the agency only has a working definition of this “emerging syndrome.”

Like COVID-19 and MIS-C, MIS-A also seems to disproportionately affect Latinx and Black people. “All but one of the patients with MIS-A described in this report belonged to racial or ethnic minority groups,” the C.D.C. wrote.

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