41 SoCal children sickened by rare inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19

Health

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Another child in Los Angeles County was diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, bringing the total number of children with the rare coronavirus-linked illness to 41 countywide as of Friday.

All the children with the condition, referred to as MIS-C, were hospitalized — a large percentage of them, 46%, ending up in intensive care units, according to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health news release.

So far, there have been no reported MIS-C deaths among L.A. County’s children.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a rare but serious complication associated with COVID-19 and can cause different body parts to become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling extra tired.

There doesn’t appear to be a specific age group of children significantly bearing a disproportionate burden of illness in L.A. County, but at 39%, kids between the ages of 5 and 11 years old account for the largest percentage of cases of MIS-C in the county.

About 27% of the children were younger than 5 years old and 34% were between 12 and 20 years old, according to the health department.

The CDC says it’s still learning about the syndrome, and it’s unclear why some children are sickened and others aren’t.

Latino children account for a whopping 70% of the all cases of MIS-C in L.A. County. This mirrors trends seen nationwide — Latino children make up the largest percentage of cases among race and ethnic groups in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The group has also been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

The CDC reports 1,027 known MIS-C cases in the U.S. and a total of 20 deaths. About 98% of the children had tested positive for the coronavirus and the other 2% were around someone with COVID-19.

The average age for children with MIS-C in the country is 8 years old, and most of the cases occurred in children and teenagers between the ages of 1 and 14, according to the CDC.

California, Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Massachusetts have reported the most cases in the country so far.

Parents should contact their children’s doctors right away if they notice any of the symptoms of MIS-C, authorities say.

Children should be rushed to emergency care right away if they have trouble breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face or severe abdominal pain, according to the CDC.

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