KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Hospitals across the country are reporting an increase in multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, also known as MIS-C. The COVID-19-related illness is also on the rise in Tennessee. Dr. Ryan Redman, ER director at Children’s Hospital, answers our questions.
Have you guys seen an increase in patients with MIS-C at Children’s Hospital?
Yes, with the increase of COVID-19 cases in the community, we also saw an increase in multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.
Since the pandemic began, the state has confirmed nine cases of MIS-C in our patients, and we are awaiting confirmation of several more cases that we believe meet the criteria for the illness. A couple of our cases were serious, requiring treatment in the PICU. But it’s still a rare condition when you think of the large number of cases of COVID-19 in the community.
What exactly is MIS-C?
It’s a complication some children develop after they have had COVID-19, which results in inflammation of different parts of the body including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and other organs. In some cases, children with symptoms of MIS-C, never exhibited typical COVID-19 symptoms and their parents weren’t even aware they were sick.
Be aware that not all children have all the same symptoms.
- Fever usually lasting 24 hours or more
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
- Neck pain
- Bloodshot eyes
- Tiredness (more than normal)
When should we bring a child to the emergency room?
Any of the symptoms mentioned should be evaluated by your child’s doctor. The following are reasons to come to the ER:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest that won’t go away
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
- Severe abdominal pain
What don’t we know still?
The Centers for Disease Control is still learning about MIS-C and the connection with COVID-19. We still don’t know why some children have gotten sick with MIS-C and others haven’t. It is important to note that most children who have become ill with COVID-19, have recovered well from the illness.
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