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Study Examines MIS-C Patients, Syndrome Linked To Coronavirus In Kids

Some kids, including kids here in Cleveland, have had serious complications thought to be linked to coronavirus infection.

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine tries to describe what we know so far about this condition.

University Hospitals’ Dr. Amanda Lansell was part of the study that looked at what’s known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.

Researchers found that most of the 186 young patients were previously healthy, and presented with some combination of rashes, GI issues, heart problems and respiratory symptoms. Most of the patients had exposure to a known coronavirus case, tested positive for the virus, or tested positively for antibodies, an indicator the child could have had the virus previously.

Most of the children had markers of inflammation in their blood work, which Lansell says goes along with the theory that it’s an immune system response to the virus.

“In children, they seemed to not get as sick initially, which was great news,” she said. “But with the emergence of this syndrome, we started worrying a little bit more about how children may be affected in the long term.” The average length of time from COVID symptoms to MIS-C symptoms was 25 days.

Of the patients studied, the median age was 8 years old. 80 percent received intensive care. Four of the children died. The four who died were between the ages of 10-16, and two had underlying conditions.

To be included in the study, kids had to have a fever for at least 24 hours, but Lansell says most patients had a fever for more than five days.

Lansell says the next goal is for studies to look at which treatments are best for patients with this syndrome.

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