What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome?

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Department of Health announced the first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in their bi-weekly COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, June 25.

MIS-C (multisystem inflammatory syndrome) is most commonly seen in people under the age of 21, according to Dr. Joseph Segeleon, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Sanford Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Intensive Care Physician.

“It was inevitable that we were going to get our first case,” Segeleon said. “Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is associated with COVID-19.”

MIS-C first started in Europe and then hit the east coast, according to Segleon, 

The CDC defines MIS-C as a medical condition where body parts can become inflamed such as the heart, kidneys, lungs, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

Symptoms of MIS-C include a fever and various other symptoms such as gut pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or a feeling of extreme exhaustion, according to the CDC.

“We see this in children who’ve had COVID-19. It can be seen up to four weeks after the coronavirus infection,” Segeleon said. “It is caused by a reaction from your body fighting off the coronavirus. Inflammation has gone out of control, which can injure the body.”

Segeleon says the use of immunomodulators can be used to fight MIS-C. 

Immunomodulators are defined as a medication that is used to regulate or normalize the immune system.

Intravenous immunoglobulin and steroids are also used to fight MIS-C.

Intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG is used to provide extra antibodies that a body can’t make on its own.

With all of the inflammation, Segeleon says that blood clots are possible, so children will be placed on blood thinners as well.

“It’s important to know that this is not an infection, but the immune system gets so ramped up and out of control, which causes inflammation,” Segeleon said.

According to the CDC’s website, it is unknown what causes MIS-C, but many children with MIS-C had the COVID-19 virus or had been around someone with COVID-19. The CDC says the best way to prevent your child from getting MIS-C is by taking normal everyday actions to prevent your household/family from contracting COVID-19.

MIS-C can be deadly if not treated correctly or efficiently. 

“The majority of children will survive MIS-C with proper and early medication,” Segeleon said. “Some kids could have chronic effects, especially heart conditions.”

Segeleon made it a point of emphasis that children with MIS-C are very sick children.

“These kids are quite sick,” Segeleon said. “The children were probably not in the hospital because they may not have known they had COVID-19 or were asymptomatic.” 

The CDC says if your child shows any signs of COVID-19 or MIS-C that you should call your child’s doctor.

However, if the signs include trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away, new confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake, bluish lips or face or severe abdominal pain, then call 911 or go to the emergency room.

For more information about multisystem inflammatory syndrome from the CDC, visit the link below:

CDC Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Information

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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