Wisconsin DHS: 183 children have gotten rare COVID associated illness, 1 death reported

MIS-C is a condition believed to be linked to COVID-19 that affects multiple organ systems in...
MIS-C is a condition believed to be linked to COVID-19 that affects multiple organ systems in children.(WAFB)
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 10:20 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - A child from southeastern Wisconsin has died after contracting MIS-C, state health officials reported Friday.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said the child died within the last month and was under the age of 10. The child’s exact age, gender and vaccination status were not released.

MIS-C is a rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19 in which different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children may require intensive care for cardiac and/or respiratory support.

Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist Tom Haupt spoke with the media Friday to answer questions.

Haupt explains the majority of children affected by MIS-C are between the ages of 3-11. Of them, 60% are hospitalized for treatment.

“As far as treatment goes, there’s about three things that are really can be done. One would be to put a child on some kind of a blood thinner, whether it be warfarin, heparin, anything like that. Or in some cases with small children, they’re on low dose aspirin. It’s also treated with steroids,” he said.

To date, 183 children in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with MIS-C, including 33 children diagnosed since Jan. 1, 2022. The report also states several have been diagnosed with MIS-C despite being fully vaccinated. Haupt called MIS-C a sister syndrome. He said it happens two to four, or even up to six weeks after the initial exposure to COVID. But unfortunately, there is no way to detect it until obvious symptoms arise.

“There really are no other tests that can be run of the child is perfectly healthy. There’s no reason for them to seek any medical care. There’s no way of telling if it might be brewing and that you might actually come down with it at some particular point,” Haupt said.

MIS-C which usually starts off with a lingering fever, chest pain, or abdominal pain, some of which can be very severe. Haupt said it can even mimic appendicitis. Children may also have respiratory problems and you have trouble staying awake and being alert.

Once those symptoms are present, multiple laboratory tests would be done to determine an acute stage of MIS-C.

Haupt explained Hispanic and Black children seem to be more affected, but the reason why hasn’t been determined.

Pediatric hospitalizations for MIS-C can range from two days to two weeks, or possibly longer.

Nationally, 6,851 children have been diagnosed with MIS-C. Fifty-nine children have died from the condition in the U.S. The median age of patients with MIS-C was 9 years.

Click here to read more information on the condition from the CDC’s website.

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