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Louisiana has about 425,000  positive infections  and over  9000  deaths from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although children were initially reported to have mild illness from the virus, there is a certain emergence of multiorgan disorder linked to the virus especially in children. This syndrome was formally named as multisystem inflammatory disorder in children or MIS-C by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In this condition, children aged 0 – 18  years  present with fever for more than 24 hrs. Kids may have current or previous evidence of COVID – 19 infection. Dr. Khushboo Parikh a prominent pediatric Cardiologist from Baton Rouge Louisiana  says “severity of this condition can range from mild illness with a rash, conjunctivitis to more severe forms with nausea, vomiting, headaches, oral changes and swelling of hands or feet. Infrequently, there may be severe inflammation throughout the body leading to hemodynamic collapse. This can involve multiple organs in the body like the heart and the lungs. It is recommended that children with these symptoms and fever for > 24hrs be evaluated in the emergency department for MIS-C.”

This condition is managed by a team of doctors that include pediatric hospitalists, pediatric infectious disease specialists and pediatric cardiologists. MIS-C can vary from mild to severe illness. In the case of mild illness, children require only close monitoring in the hospital. In the case of moderate to severe illness, treatment involves giving antibodies called IVIg infusion along with aspirin. In the event of persistence of fever, steroids are also initiated. These will often need intensive support with constant medications to support the function of the heart. Children with severe illness may require management in the intensive care unit with intubation and other medications that modulate the immune system.

The inflammation leads to compromise in the function of the heart. Kids have had prolonged recovery from this catastrophic event which may last for a few months. Following discharge, children often closely follow up with their pediatricians and pediatric cardiologist. Dr. Parikh adds “Children who are diagnosed with MIS-C and have any cardiac complications are restricted from sports for 3-6 months.”

This syndrome is increasingly being recognized in kids throughout the world. There have been greater than 2000 cases with a total of 127 cases recorded in the state of Louisiana so far with 5  reported deaths in the pediatric population.

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