• COVID Linked to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

    (Troy, Illinois) According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is associated with COVID-19. Many children with MIS-C have had COVID or been exposed to someone who had COVID.

    According to the CDC, MIS-C is a condition where multiple organ systems are involved, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal. The CDC and the Academy of Pediatrics are still researching MIS-C. The condition is defined as children aged 21 years or younger with a fever (100.4 degrees or higher) for more than 24 hours; laboratory evidence of inflammation; evidence of clinically severe illness requiring hospitalization; suspected or confirmed COVID exposure within four weeks prior to illness; and no other plausible diagnosis. The condition can be serious, so parents are advised to be aware of MIS-C symptoms.

    “The best way to protect children from getting MIS-C is to prevent them from getting COVID,” says Deanna Weinacht, APRN, family nurse practitioner with HSHS Medical Group in Troy. “Masking, social distancing, handwashing and traveling only when necessary can all help. It’s important to take these precautions with children, but parents should also observe these to avoid bringing COVID home.”

    MIS-C bears some resemblance to Kawasaki, an inflammatory disease that was first described in Japan in the late 1960s. If a child has Kawasaki, they will have a consistent fever for at least 5 days and other symptoms such as nonspecific rash; inflammation; red eyes, lips and tongue; red throat that is not painful; body aches; and joint pain. Kawasaki is inflammation of the whole body and treatments have evolved over time. Kawasaki is being used to understand and identify MIS-C.

    While they can be compared, MIS-C and Kawasaki are not the same illness. “I recommend parents call their primary care provider if their child is ill rather than looking up their symptoms on the internet,” says Weinacht. “Many illnesses – like MIS-C and Kawasaki – can have similar symptoms and it’s hard to know how serious it is by a description on a website. Call your provider first, and if your child is seriously ill, take them to the emergency room.”

    There are no antibiotics for MIS-C. Fortunately, most children who develop severe illness can recover very well in the hospital, which is well-equipped to run tests and manage their symptoms.

    If you suspect your child has MIS-C, talk to your physician. Seek medical care if your child experiences the following, but be aware that not all children will have all of these symptoms:

    • Fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Belly pain
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Red, cracked lips
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Neck pain
    • Rash
    • Bloodshot eyes
    • Feeling extra tired
    • Swollen hands or feet

    Seek emergency care if your child experiences severe symptoms, such as:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face
    • Severe abdominal pain

    Weinacht cares for patients of all ages at HSHS Medical Group Family Medicine in Troy. For an appointment, call 618-343-3722 or visit HSHSMedicalGroup.org.

    About HSHS Medical Group

    HSHS Medical Group is the physician organization of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). Launched in 2009, HSHS Medical Group is a critical component of the HSHS Care Integration strategy, which focuses on bringing physicians, technology and patients together to improve the overall health of our communities. Today, HSHS Medical Group is comprised of over 1,300 colleagues in locations throughout central and southern Illinois. HSHS Medical Group is powered by the Franciscan history of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, and our faith-based identity led us to the single most important tenet of the HSHS Medical Group philosophy — patient-first care. For more information about HSHS Medical Group, visit HSHSMedicalGroup.org.

    About Hospital Sisters Health System

    Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org