(Bloomberg) – Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, is a rare but dire condition that drives large numbers of children to the intensive care unit. It is believed to stem from a previous covid-19 infection, usually in healthy children who did not show any symptoms of the virus.
Although younger Americans bear a greater burden than before when it comes to COVID-19, from several months of availability of vaccines for older adults, it is clear that the full scope of MIS-C in children is unknown.
Texas Children’s Hospital, one of more than a dozen pediatric centers in the state, has seen more than 150 young patients with MIS-C in the past year, said Lara Shekerdemian, the hospital’s director of critical care. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recorded fewer than 100 cases in all of Texas.
The CDC publishes a count of MIS-C cases reported by state health departments that is updated monthly. Its most recent count shows 3,742 cases of MIS-C in the United States. That number is probably low.
The condition was discovered a couple of months after the pandemic started and state reports are voluntary, meaning they can be slow or sometimes not occur at all. That’s very different from the CDC’s meticulous daily monitoring of COVID-19 cases, which have dropped in recent weeks. The lack of data could be unsettling for parents, particularly those whose children are under 12 and not yet. are eligible for vaccinations. Most cases of MIS-C have appeared in children ages 5 to 14, with a median age of 9, according to the CDC, although some health departments have reported totals that appear in line with CDC data Large states like New York, California and Texas show discrepancies.
The CDC does not view the data on its website as a complete tally, spokeswoman Jade Fulce said. Instead, the agency uses it to understand trends.
The CDC has linked 35 deaths to the condition, but while most children recover, it can affect many parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, brain, and gastrointestinal system. And the long-term impact is still unknown.
Original Note: Coronavirus Daily: Tracking a Stealthy Covid-Linked Condition
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