Dayton Children’s has treated 35 kids with rare syndrome associated with COVID

Health leaders are urging people to continue taking precautions that decrease coronavirus spread and to get vaccinated as at least 35 area children have been afflicted by a rare but serious and sometimes fatal syndrome associated with COVID-19.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) can occur about three to four weeks after a child has COVID-19. The syndrome causes inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body, causing limited blood flow that can damage the heart, kidneys and other organs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dayton Children’s has treated approximately 35 kids with MIS-C since the pandemic began, said Dr. Dustin Fleck, division chief of rheumatology at Dayton Children’s.

According to local health departments, Montgomery County has had at least 19 cases of MIS-C, Greene County has had one case, Warren County at least nine cases and Clark County recently confirmed its fourth case. A spokesperson for Miami County Public Health did not return a request for comment.

As of March 1, according to the CDC, somewhere between 50 to 99 cases of MIS-C have been reported in Ohio since May 2020. Nationwide more than 2,600 cases have been reported across 48 states. About 33 of those cases have been fatal.

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MIS-C occurs in children and teens, mostly between the ages of 4 and 15. The syndrome can be fatal if left untreated.

The number of cases the Dayton area has seen should encourage people to “make sure that kids are taking precautions regarding the spread” of COVID-19, Fleck said.

Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said: “We need to shut (the coronavirus) down before we have our kids affected by it.”

MIS-C was first identified in New York City and the state of New York in May 2020 after doctors who were treating children who had recovered from COVID-19 noticed the children begin to experience “an odd set of symptoms,” Patterson said.

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“We do not yet know what causes MIS-C,” the CDC’s website says. “However, many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19.”

Symptoms usually develop within four weeks of being exposed to COVID-19 and include fever, unusual weakness or fatigue, a red rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, red/cracked lips, red eyes and swollen hands or feet, according to the CDC.

No one medication exists to fight the syndrome, according to the CDC. Instead, doctors are advised to use a combination of anti-inflammatory medications.

Patterson said the best way to prevent your child from contracting MIS-C is to practice coronavirus prevention habits like wearing a mask and social distancing.

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By the numbers

33: Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) diagnosed in Montgomery, Greene, Clark and Warren Counties since May 2020

35: the number of MIS-C cases treated by Dayton Children’s

50-99: Cases of MIS-C diagnosed in Ohio since May 2020, according to the CDC

33: Fatal cases of MIS-C nationwide, according to the CDC

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