Children’s Wisconsin IDs state’s 1st suspected cases of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

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MILWAUKEE -- A new inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 that has been seen in children in other states and counties has now made its way to Wisconsin.

Children’s Wisconsin has identified the state's first suspected cases of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). These seven cases have been reported to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). So far, five children have been discharged from the hospital -- two remain hospitalized in good condition.

As COVID-19 continues to infect people, a byproduct of the disease is now attacking children. Doctors at Children's Wisconsin say similar to Kawasaki Disease, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) is a rare and inflammatory response that causes swelling in different organs -- including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. The sickness seems to affect kids who have evidence of a current or recent COVID-19 infection or exposure.

Right now, there is no test for the syndrome. Doctors say MIS-C can be difficult to diagnose -- and the symptoms can be serious. They include persistent high fever, abdominal pain, rash, red eyes, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, changes in behavior, lethargy or generally feeling ill.

Health officials say right now, they are seeing children from under the age of 5 to teenagers who are being diagnosed with the disease. Similar to COVID-19, MIS-C seems to affect the African American population a little more severely.

Most kids do recover with medical care. But of course, prevention is being urged. That means continuing to social distance, practice good hand hygiene, and wearing masks when appropriate.

If you suspect your child may have MIS-C, contact your physician as quickly as possible. You can even talk to the pediatric care providers at Children's Wisconsin through their online urgent care video visits.

Children's Wisconsin said the following in a news release: 

"MIS-C is a new and rare inflammatory response that causes swelling in different organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. MIS-C has been seen in some kids who have been infected by or exposed to COVID-19 and can present with many different symptoms, including a persistent high fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, and red eyes and tongue. Most kids diagnosed with MIS-C have recovered with brief hospital stays (in some cases no hospitalization was required).

When MIS-C was first identified globally and in the United States in late April and early May, Children’s Wisconsin created a multidisciplinary team to help identify and treat kids with suspected MIS-C. This team includes pediatric experts from critical care, infectious disease, hospital medicine, immunology, emergency medicine, rheumatology, hematology, cardiology, and primary care. They are all working together to make sure we are able to provide the best, most up-to-date care."

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